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S.Africa complain of media 'harassment' after airport fracas

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The incident happened at the Adelaide airport.

Cricket - Australia v South Africa - Second Test cricket match - Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Australia - 15/11/16 - South Africa's Vernon Philander (L) watches as team captain Faf du Plessis shakes Australia's captain Steve Smith's hand after the match. REUTERS/David Gray
Cricket - Australia v South Africa - Second Test cricket match - Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Australia - 15/11/16 - South Africa's Vernon Philander (L) watches as team captain Faf du Plessis shakes Australia's captain Steve Smith's hand after the match. REUTERS/David Gray

SYDNEY (Reuters) - South Africa have accused an Australian TV station of harassing captain Faf du Plessis after a reporter was involved in a physical confrontation with a team security guard at Adelaide Airport on Monday.

Du Plessis has been charged with ball-tampering by the International Cricket Council (ICC) during the second test in Hobart, which South Africa won to clinch the series with a match to spare.

A statement from team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee on Monday said the Australian media, and Channel 9 in particular, had been advised that Du Plessis could not comment on the matter until a hearing was held.

Moosajee said the South Africans were therefore disappointed that Channel 9 had "blatantly ignored" their "media protocol" both at the team hotel in Melbourne over the weekend and when the squad arrived at Adelaide airport on Monday.

TV pictures showed a Channel 9 reporter trying to push his way past South Africa officials and players to ask Du Plessis for comment, as one of his colleagues had in Melbourne over the weekend.

"This is the third incident of a reporter aggressively harassing our players with blatant disrespect of the above-mentioned media protocol," said the statement.

"The 'reporter' at the airport disrespected us and continued to harass Faf for comment. The 'reporter' was also in the unusual position of being in the middle of the players’ walkway to the bus.

"He was advised to move three times, and did not adhere to this request. The 'reporter', who also had no official accreditation, then proceeded to lunge towards Faf with an unknown object causing a direct breach of security protocol."

TV pictures showed the "unknown object" to be the reporter's microphone, which was knocked out of his hand as the security guard shoved him several times before bundling him towards a glass door.

Du Plessis is likely to play in the third test, a day-nighter which starts at Adelaide Oval on Thursday, pending the hearing. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ian Ransom)


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