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South Africa's coach creates controversy at AFCON

South African coach Ephraim Mashaba refused to talk in any other language apart from Zulu as a mark of protest in the African Cup of Nations

News 20 Jan 2015, 00:17 IST
The African Cup of Nations Trophy

Mongomo (Equatorial Guinea), January 19 (IANS)

South African football head coach Ephraim Mashaba courted controversy Monday by refusing to answer questions in any other language other than his native Zulu as a mark of protest against the treatment meted out to his country's journalists by Algeria.

Algeria earlier conducted a press conference in Arabic and French, leaving the English-speaking South African journalists helpless ahead of their country's Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) match later on Monday.

Algerian captain Madjid Bougherra, during the press meet, spoke in Arabic without a translator and the assembled journalists had difficulty deciphering what he said.

Taking a cue from them, Mashaba refused to speak in English and replied to questions only in Zulu.

"This is the Africa Cup of Nations and I speak the language I understand," Mashaba was quoted as saying by sport24.co.za Monday.

This sparked a mini demonstration from other journalists as the proceedings got out of hand, but he kept on speaking without paying much attention to the protests.

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