[img_assist|nid=3452|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=180|height=180]The South African Hockey Association has requested a personal apology from competition manager Steve Catton after the apartheid anthem, Die Stem, was played before the world number 12 Investec South Africa women’s hockey team’s 3-1 upset win over world number four Great Britain at the Investec London Cup in Chiswick, London Tuesday evening.
“We are extremely disappointed that an administrative blunder has been the source of much embarrassment for our team and all South Africans,” said SA Hockey Association CEO Marissa Langeni Wednesday morning.
“The anthem played caused our team much discomfort as they stood not knowing what to do with themselves. This incident has robbed our team of what should have been a moment of pride,” said Langeni.
SA meet world number three Germany at 9 pm SA time Wednesday in a match that will be televised “live” on SuperSport 6. With just this Germany match left in the pool stages in this six-nation event, SA are in the pound seats to get into Saturday’s semi-finals.
In Tuesday’s earlier match, world number one Holland beat world seven Australia 2-1.
Great Britain hockey issued the following on Wednesday morning:
Great Britain Hockey, the organiser of the Investec London Cup, offers a full and unreserved apology to the South African women’s hockey team and their supporters for mistakenly playing the wrong national anthem before South Africa’s match with Great Britain on Tuesday afternoon.
The error was made by a contractor responsible for sports presentation at the event. Standard procedure would be to check anthems to be played with visiting teams in advance, however, on this occasion that did not happen and Great Britain Hockey accepts full responsibility.
Great Britain Hockey and its contractor appreciate the sensitive nature of this unfortunate mistake and we apologise unreservedly for the offence caused. The correct anthem will be played before all of South Africa’s remaining matches beginning with the team’s second fixture against Germany on Wednesday evening.