Boks on Tour

Song botch stirs 'Anthemgate'

2009-11-14 06:59

Toulouse - South Africa accused France of failing to respect them during the singing of their national anthem before Friday's international in Toulouse.

VIDEO: South African anthem botch

The world champion Springboks were upset 20-13 by the French but were left fuming at the way their anthem had been played before the kick-off.

The man who sang the anthem, which is a hybrid mixture of five different languages, made a mess of the lyrics as sections of the crowd began to laugh during the playing.

Before commenting about his team's performance, Springboks coach Peter de Villiers told a news conference he was unhappy at the way their national anthem was played.

"Before I answer the first question I must first convey that we were annoyed by the fact the French did not respect our anthem. They did not really get somebody who knows it," he said.

The South African vice-captain Victor Matfield said the botched handling of the anthem had upset and and disturbed his players.

"Singing the national anthem is almost like receiving the jersey. It's a special moment," he said.

"Every time you go out on the field and sing the national anthem it's something that fires you up because you know you are playing for your country. It was a big disappointment."

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