Wang Qinbo: why did Messi and Argentina refuse to see the president?

December 21-according to a number of Argentine media, Argentina refused the invitation to meet with the president. Wang Qinbo, a reporter from Sports Weekly, wrote about the reasons behind it.
The full text is as follows:
Argentina’s planned celebration parade in the center of Buenos Aires ended prematurely before half of the journey was over. The players left the scene by helicopter and then went home.
The public frenzy was an important reason for the celebration that did not go as planned, and it was also the price paid by Argentine players to let politics go away completely.
In the Maradona era, after Argentina won the World Cup champion and runner-up, it would go to the balcony of the presidential palace to accept the tsunami of the people on the square in May, so that it could stand in front of a large number of people and be safer at the same time.
However, this seemingly established etiquette has been broken in Messi’s generation, as Argentina only wants to purely enjoy the victory of football and insists on letting its politics go away.
Although Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said before the World Cup final that he did not go to Qatar to watch the match because of “superstition”, the fact is that Argentine players collectively boycotted Fernandez.
[related news] President of Argentina: I will not go to the World Cup final. I will have a good time with my family.
The team’s message was transmitted to the Argentine government through the Football Association. The players hope that their achievements have nothing to do with anyone in Argentine politics, whether in power or in opposition. Whether you win or lose in the final, it is not in line with the team spirit to paste your image with the politicians.
Refusing the president to come to the final is not too serious. Argentina is the most important to win the championship. In particular, Argentina is facing a serious economic crisis and a shortage of foreign exchange. Fern á ndez’s government only recently advised officials to reduce overseas travel. However, after winning the championship, the Argentine players still refused to return home to the presidential palace and continued to ask officials to go away, which made Fernandez crazy.
Since the Argentine team boarded the plane in Doha, Fernandez and his deputies repeatedly contacted Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, to put forward various conditions.
Argentina returned home as the world runner-up in 2014 and was received by then female President Kirchner at the presidential palace. Video footage showed Messi and Aguero looking pale as the president spoke. But at that time, the Argentine football was covered up by the Grondona family, everything was decided by the old Grondona, and the team had no say in such matters. Tapia, the elected president of the Argentine Football Association after many years of dictatorship, overcame the Fern á ndez government’s attempt to kill him in conjunction with some interest groups. Tapia’s support comes from Argentine football clubs, as well as from the Argentine national team.
Fernandez thought that through a series of compliments to Tapia during the World Cup, he could dispel the latter’s grudge against him for supporting the goons, but even if Tapia had no intention of retaliation, he would never put pressure on the players. because his principle of managing the national team has always been to respect the views of the players. Until Tuesday morning in Buenos Aires, Fernandez’s government received the same answer: the team disagreed and the players wanted the victory to belong entirely to the Argentine people, not to any Argentine government.
Argentina arrived at Buenos Aires International Airport in the early hours of Tuesday, and the journey from the airport to the nearby Argentine Football Association base was celebrated by fans waiting all night on an open bus. After getting up on Tuesday morning, the players discussed the route of the parade themselves. Shortly before noon, the player bus set off under the mounted police road to Republic Square, where the Buenos Aires landmark obelisk is located. Even after the player’s bus left, the Argentine media reported that the presidential palace continued to try to persuade the players to see him.
President Fernandez really went crazy to get a picture with Lionel Messi and his teammates. On Monday, he restricted some of his staff to the presidential palace and banned licensed journalists. The latter move, for the first time since Argentina ended its dictatorship and restored democracy in 1983, shocked Argentine media circles, but a presidential spokesman said journalists were not the protagonists of the occasion in order to provide a better environment for “meetings.”
This is Fernandez’s bitter trick to persuade Argentine players to go to the presidential palace. After the team’s initial refusal, his condition was that he saw the team in private, did not appear in public, and only the players went on the balcony. In order to show his sincerity, he wanted to say, “you see, I drove the reporters away ahead of time.”… ”
Why did Messi and his teammates resist Fernandez so much? Of course, many facts can be enumerated. First, the super incompetence of Fern á ndez’s government led to the recurrence of the frightening inflation situation in today’s Argentine crisis. Secondly, Fern á ndez tried to be bad to Tapia. The third Fernandez did not really like Messi. In 2020, the first wave of the epidemic was the period of greatest shortage of supplies. Messi finally collected a batch of ventilators from the international community, but they were detained at the airport by Argentine customs for several months in a row.
Fernandez belongs to the left and is a Peronist. The football hero of Peronism in Argentina is Maradona. This is why Kirchner, vice president of Argentina (female president of 2014), must add when thanking Lionel Messi and congratulating the national team: “that Maradona-style ‘what nest are you looking at’ has finally won the hearts of Argentines.”
Is that fair to Messi? Of course it’s not fair. Messi has no obligation to role-play Diego, nor does he have to role-play Diego to win the hearts of Argentines. Moreover, the “nest” is Messi’s outbreak after a game with a special atmosphere. He is generally gentle and introverted, does not like to participate in political disputes, nor does he want to be a leader of the people, which is different from Maradona. It’s obviously not compatible with Peronism.
Peronism is fascism in essence. Peron worshiped Mussolini when he was stationed in Rome, thinking that it was impossible for Argentina to learn beauty or the Soviet Union, but should learn from Italy. He packaged fascism closer to the working masses, which is why Peronism, despite its strong nationalism, is often regarded as a leftist, which is believed not only by ordinary people, but also by many scholars and researchers.
Maradona belongs to a generation nurtured by Peronism and has experienced a period of terrorist military dictatorship supported by the United States. there is nothing wrong with him to participate in politics with a very positive attitude. Argentines have just ended their dictatorship in the 1980s. People restore democracy and normal life with enthusiasm. When he returned home after winning the championship in 1986, Maradona told the then President Alfonsin, “this cup is more valuable than the last one, because we represent a democratic country.”
Messi’s generation was born and raised completely after the restoration of democracy in Argentina. What they have experienced is the pain caused by the shortcomings of Argentina’s democratic system, corruption, bad promises, false prosperity and economic bubbles, and this generation of players choose to stay away from politicians and not stand with any faction. The attitude of making the victory of the national team belong to all Argentines is also very valuable and in line with the needs of the times. In other words, the team’s decision has little to do with political factions, nor is it necessarily the three reasons analyzed earlier, but that the players want to be completely separated from the politicians.
Fernandez also made a “contribution” to the fact that the players did not go to the presidential palace and chose to parade in the streets, which led to the dilemma of crowds gathering. He declared Tuesday a national holiday on Monday to celebrate the national team’s victory. The decision was heavily criticized, including from Fernandez’s own faction. Because Argentina is in a period of economic crisis, many businesses rely on the shopping spree before Christmas in December to earn some money, and the closure of stores on a national holiday is equivalent to one less business day. Employers in need also need to pay paid holidays for employees who are on vacation. The celebration took place in the capital, but all parts of the country closed their doors. Many people rushed to the capital because of the holidays. at first, the police estimated that there were 2 million people waiting for the national team on the streets of Buenos Aires, then updated the number to 4 million!
Even if there is opposition within his own party, Fernandez will declare a Tuesday holiday because Peronists have always believed that happiness is provided and guaranteed by a strong government. Even if the nature of this holiday is to add drama (those who want to ask for leave can ask for leave, but do not have to be paid by the employer), it is also in line with the Peronist understanding of the happiness of the people.
The idea is old-fashioned, of course. But this also shows a long-term feature and drawback of Argentine society: Argentine politics is far from the modernization and self-renewal ability of Argentine football.
[related news] for political reasons, Argentina refused the invitation to meet with the president.