The French Police had to teargas rioting French fans after France lost the 2022 World Cup final to Argentina at the Lusail Stadium.
France took on Argentina in a heated 2022 World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium, with Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe battling for a third World Cup crown for their respective countries.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring for Argentina, scoring from the penalty spot before former Paris Saint-Germain star Angel Di Maria doubled the lead.
The Albiceleste went into the break with a comfortable 2-0 win, but the tides turned against them in the second when PSG talisman Kylian Mbappe utilized a magic moment to score a quick brace to tie the game on a 2-2 draw, and dragged the match to extra time.
Lionel Messi put Argentina ahead again in the 108th minute. Kylian Mbappe responded again, scoring from the penalty spot to drag the match again to penalty shootouts, where they lost 4-2 to Argentina.
Violence broke out in the streets of Paris following France’s loss to Argentina in the finals. The French Police had to swing into action, teargassing supporters to disperse the rioting fans.
The fans had descended en masse to the streets of the country’s biggest cities Paris, Lyon, and Nice after the game.
Police officers had to quell a disturbance in the Champs-Elysees as flares were ignited and fireworks went off.
Meanwhile, similar scenes played out in Madrid, the capital of Spain, as jubilant Argentinian fans flooded the streets in celebration.
Pictures showed a huge crowd of fans in white and blue in the city’s main square, drinking in the atmosphere after their team bested France.
However, some clashes broke out with police, with photographs showing armed officers beating supporters with batons. One man was seen being ushered away.
Around 14,000 police officers went out duty across France to guarantee security as Les Bleus took on Argentina in the World Cup final, officials confirmed.
The Parisian security operation, presented to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin publicly on Friday, saw a concentration of forces in Paris, where huge crowds were expected in the event of victory.
The Champs-Elysees avenue was the scene of vast celebrations during France’s previous World Cup triumphs in 1998 and 2018, with 600,000 people cheering and dancing there then. The avenue was closed to traffic on Sunday and 2,750 officers were stationed in the vicinity.
Police were on their guard for troublemakers, after around 40 far-right sympathisers arrested on Wednesday evening as they attempted to join a crowd of revelers after France beat Morocco in the semi-final.
Around 115 people were arrested in total after the Morocco game in Paris earlier this week. Clashes also occurred last Saturday after France’s quarter-final victory when police fired teargas to disperse the crowd.
The aftermath of Wednesday’s game was also marred by the death of a 14-year-old boy in the southern city of Montpellier who was hit by a car carrying supporters.
The driver of a white hatchback involved in the accident is still being sought by police.
According to reports, a fatal accident took place in 2019 in the same poverty-hit area of the city, Paillade, when a driver lost control of his vehicle and hit a mother and her baby after an Africa Cup of Nations game.
With concrete blocks painted blue, white and red, police had sealed off the Champs-Elysées to traffic in anticipation of flooding with celebrating crowds on Sunday.
Scary! My friend is in Paris right now and there are riots along the Champs-Élysées over the World Cup final. pic.twitter.com/nv0RGiIL0T— Casey Feindt (@CaseyFeindt) December 18, 2022
People did gather and fireworks were fired into the sky when France twice equalized, but they were left with a feeling of disappointment.
But after the sorrow of the penalty shootout, the Champs-Elysées and bars that had been packed quickly emptied, and cold rain added to the sense of mourning.
By contrast, hundreds of thousands of Argentines poured into the sunlit streets of Buenos Aires on Sunday, ecstatic after a nail-biting victory on penalties in the World Cup final over France made the South Americans world champions for the first time since 1986.
In a tense and roller-coaster match played in Qatar in front of some 88,000 fans, Argentina, led by star Lionel Messi, took home its third World Cup after beating France, the defending champions, 4-2 on penalties after drawing 3-3 after extra time.