FIFA charges Argentina over World Cup final celebrations

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA opened a disciplinary case against the Argentine Football Association on Friday for alleged offensive player misconduct and violations of fair play at the World Cup final.

FIFA cited its media and marketing regulations for prosecuting the case, which appears to relate to a boisterous celebration by players running through the interview zone after the game on Dec. 18.

Argentina beat France in a penalty shootout after a thrilling 3-3 draw at Lusail Stadium in Qatar.

About three hours later, players led by captain Lionel Messi ran and sang through the official interview area and damaged flimsy partition walls without stopping to speak to international broadcast and print media.

The disciplinary charges that include “offensive behavior and violations of the principles of fair play” did not specify Emiliano Martinez, who crudely brandished the trophy he received on the field as the best goalkeeper at the World Cup.

FIFA gave no timetable for the Argentina disciplinary case.

In other cases, FIFA imposed fines on the federations of Serbia, Mexico and Ecuador for acts of discrimination by fans at the World Cup.

Serbia was fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($54,000) for offensive fan chants during a 3-2 loss against Switzerland — which had some players with ethnic Albanian ties to Kosovo — and team misconduct for seven players being shown yellow cards.

FIFA fined Mexico 100,000 Swiss francs ($108,000) for anti-gay chants by fans at two games, and Ecuador must pay 20,000 Swiss francs ($21,600) for chants at the opening game against Qatar reportedly directed at Chile.

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The Associated Press