The Argentinian FA has confirmed the players bus tour of Buenos Aires has been abandoned due to security concerns, with the squad instead taking helicopters along the parade route.
The World Cup-winning players were evacuated from the open-top bus as the tour was progressing after a fan jumped onto the vehicle as it drove under a bridge.
The AFA said: “The players of the Argentine soccer team ended the festivities by flying over in a helicopter over the crowd of fans who gathered in the city.
“They made that decision after verifying that they could not continue advancing by bus in the middle of the crowd.”
The AFA president Claudio Tapia lamented the way the tour ended because they were unable to greet all the fans in the way it had been organized.
“They don’t let us get to greet all the people who were at the Obelisk, the same security agencies that escorted us don’t allow us to move forward,” he said.
“A thousand apologies on behalf of all the champion players. A shame.”
The players were unable to reach the central Obelisco monument as planned because of the crowd size, estimated by local media at four million people.
“The world champions are flying over the entire route in helicopters because it became impossible to continue on land due to the explosion of popular joy,” presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti wrote on Twitter.
“Let’s continue to celebrate in peace and show them our love and admiration!”
The team had arrived in the early hours of Tuesday at Ezeiza Airport where, despite it being around 3am (6am GMT), thousands were waiting with banners, flags and flares to welcome home their heroes.
By around midday, millions had already congregated in downtown Buenos Aires, with major roads closed for the parade. People held up banners of Lionel Messi and late icon Diego Maradona, played instruments or climbed lampposts or bus stops.
The Argentine capital has been in party mode since the dramatic victory over France in Sunday’s final in Qatarwhich has helped mask economic woes in the South American nation battling one of the world’s highest inflation rates.
The victory made the country world champions for the first time since Maradona lifted the trophy in 1986 and the third in total.
The government made Tuesday a national holiday to allow fans to celebrate the win.
How Argentina’s celebrations have unfolded so far…