Moments after Algeria’s loss in the final minutes to the United States, Algeria soccer player Rafik Saifi got involved in a physical altercation with a female journalist. And by physical altercation, I mean he walked up to the journalist and slapped her. And from this account, it seemed to be unprovoked. Other than Saifi not liking some things she has written.
While walking through the interview zone, Saifi spotted writer Asma Halimi, who works for Algerian newspaper Competition, and struck her with his open hand in front of dozens of witnesses. Halimi responded by striking the player in the mouth.
Saifi then threw a sports drink bottle at a wall in the interview area, as Halimi was ushered away by security staff.
Saifi came on as substitute for the last five minutes of the USA’s 1-0 victory.
“I said nothing to him and he reached over and hit me,” Halimi said to Yahoo! Sports. “So I hit him back. I said nothing to him first.”
It is understood that Saifi and Halimi had previously had a difference of opinion over an article she wrote for her newspaper.
“She was standing there and the guy came here and he hit her,” said Francisco Aguilar Chang, a reporter from Guatemala who witnessed the incident. “Then she hit him back and her nail caught his lip.”
I don’t know how they do things in Algeria, but where I’m from, there’s no way a dude would be able to slap a woman and not have to fight off the bystanders. But I guess when you play “The beautiful game”, you can do just about anything you want.
Algeria player slaps female reporter (Yahoo! Sports)
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