FIFA May Punish Martinez

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FIFA have confirmed they are opening an investigation into the Argentina football association in relation to the actions of their players and staff around the World Cup final.

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Argentina beat France on penalties after a dramatic 3-3 draw at Lusail Stadium in Qatar in December. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved a penalty from Kingsley Coman in the shoot-out, while Aurelien Tchouameni was also off-target after being distracted by the Aston Villa stopper.

The tense game had a number of flashpoints both before and after the penalties, with Martinez also attracting criticism for his antics after the victory. Now, nearly a month on from Argentina’s victory, further punishment could be on the way.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Argentinian Football Association due to potential breaches of articles 11 (Offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play) and 12 (Misconduct of players and officials) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, as well as of article 44 of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™️ Regulations in conjunction with the Media and Marketing Regulations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™️, during the Argentina v. France FIFA World Cup™️ final,” a statement from FIFA reads.

Argentina are not the only national FA in trouble, according to the latest disciplinary update from the governing body. Proceedings have also been opened against the Croatian FA after what FIFA terms: “potential breaches of articles 13 (Discrimination) and 16 (Order and security at matches) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code during the Croatia v. Morocco FIFA World Cup™️ match”. Croatia and Morocco drew in the group stage before meeting again in the third-place play-off.

FIFA has also announced fines for three FAs over actions during the group stage. Ecuador, Mexico and Serbia have been fined varying amounts from CHF20,000 (£17,000) to CHF100,000, with all three federations also handed partial or full stadium bans.

Martinez, who was also Argentina’s goalkeeper for their Copa America triumph in 2021, has since returned to club duty. The 30-year-old made his Aston Villa return on January 4 against Wolves and also played in Friday’s victory over Leeds.