Argentine and Mexican fans did not get along very well in Qatar, particularly after provocative chants underlining that ”in the Malvinas (Falklands) they speak English.”
The two teams are to clash Saturday in a match that might spell elimination for both or for at least one of them after the South Americans lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia and Mexico drew 0-0 with Poland.
Argentina, who won their second world title on Mexican soil in 1986, is still unable to shake off memories of how Mexican referee Edgardo Codesal awarded Germany the penalty with which the Europeans won the Italy 1990 final in a decision even German TV commentators dubbed ein Geschenk (a gift).
Two fierce clashes between Argentine and Mexican fans were reported in Doha, which resulted in people injured and arrested.
En la noche del miércoles, hinchas mexicanos y argentinos protagonizaron incidentes en las calles de Doha, Qatar . El conflicto comenzó cuando el público mexicano comenzó a cantar: Y ya lo ve y ya lo ve, en las Islas Malvinas se habla inglés.pic.twitter.com/MSPWPBQSTA— Pablo Szyszko (@Pablo_szyszko) November 24, 2022
And you see, and you see, in the Malvinas, they speak English, a group of Mexican fans was chanting in a bus when an Argentine got up and told them: Not one more. I give you all of it, but not that one, is that clear?
This verbal confrontation in a bus adds to the two fights that took place in the last hours in Doha between fans of both teams, less than two days ahead of the match.
To add to the tense atmosphere surrounding the game, the fact that Mexico is coached by Gerardo Martino, an Argentine national who has already trained the South American squad and grew up at Rosario's Newell's Old Boys, the same club Lionel Messi and current coach Lionel Scaloni also stem from.
But depending on Martino's decision, the presence of Rogelio Funes Mori may fuel the feud even further. The Mendoza-born striker, who has played for Argentina for 15 minutes on September 19, 2012, has been playing professional football in Mexico since 2015.
Martino challenged Mexican fans and press when he summoned Funes Mori, who in April this year said that if he scored against Argentina he would celebrate the goal with all my heart because these are things that happen once in a lifetime. However, after Thursday's win by Switzerland over Cameroon, he would not be the first nationalized player to score against his country of origin.
Funes Mori did not play against Poland, but might be a starter Saturday, since the team's poor finishing in that game might push Martino to consider some changes in the forward line.
A Mexican national since 2021, Funes Mori has scored 139 goals in 286 games in the local league.