At least four million people swarmed the streets of Buenos Aires on Tuesday to celebrate Argentina's victory in the 2022 World Cup, forcing the team's championship parade to end early as the players were airlifted from the area in helicopter flybys, government officials said.
According to a statement from the Argentine Federal Police obtained by CNN, the team departed via open-top buses from the headquarters of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) en route to the Obelisk, a national monument at the heart of Buenos Aires' three main avenues.
However, the buses were unable to progress through the city after the massive crowds forced the vehicles to a halt around midday, Bloomberg reported, citing the Argentine newspaper Clarín. As a result, the buses were turned back and the team was shuttled out of the area on helicopters.
"They won't let us go to greet all the people who were at the Obelisk, the same security agencies that escorted us, won't allow us to move forward," AFA's Claudio 'Chiqui' Tapia told CNN. "A thousand apologies on behalf of all the champion players."
Argentina has long been one of the most soccer-crazed countries in the world, and the team's world championship — its first in 36 years — gave its citizens a reason to celebrate, even as severe economic hardships continue to befall the nation.
The colossal celebrations have continued since the team's victory this past Sunday, and at least one person has died after falling from a roof, while numerous other injuries have been reported.