No one ever accused Algeria’s national soccer team of being good sports.
After the United States’ amazing victory over Algeria in the World Cup yesterday, one of the Algerian players, Rafik Saifi, slapped a female journalist across the face.
As he walked through the interview zone, Saifi apparently noticed the reporter, Asma Halimi, and struck her with an open hand in front of multiple witnesses. Halimi then responded by smacking the player in his mouth. Later, as Halimi was being ushered away by security, Saifi threw a sports drink bottle in her general direction that ended up bouncing off a nearby wall.
Saifi was a substitute for the last five minutes of the 1-0 U.S. victory.
“I said nothing to him and he reached over and hit me,” Halimi told Yahoo Sports. “So I hit him back. I said nothing to him first.”
It was said that Saifi and Halimi had some kind of disagreement prior to the game.
“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.”
Later Halimi was asked if she would launch an official complaint with governing body FIFA and the Algerian F.A., Halimi replied: “Of course.”