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Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Thursday, 24 June 2010 11:31 UK

World Cup 2010: Saifi 'slapped female journalist'

Algeria's Rafik Saifi
The incident allegedly follows a year-long feud between the pair

A female journalist has claimed Algeria footballer Rafik Saifi slapped her in the face after his side were knocked out of the World Cup.

"I was waiting for the Algerian players. When Saifi came I just moved away. I felt a hit," Asma Halimi told BBC World Service.

The journalist, who works for Algerian newspaper Competition, said she had a disagreement with Saifi a year ago.

"I will make [a] complaint with Fifa and the police," she added.

The BBC World Service's Richard Connelly witnessed the incident in the mixed zone - an area where journalists and players congregate - after the match.

"Rafik Saifi slapped the face of journalist Asma Halimi," said Connelly.

"She hit him back as a reflex. He then threw a bottle of sports drink which missed and had to be restrained from attacking her again."

The BBC understands the altercation comes after a year of bad feelings between the pair.

Halimi told Connelly that Saifi had taken exception to an interview that she translated and published in her newspaper.

An Algerian federation spokesman said he had no information about the incident and so could not comment.

FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola said they have received Miss Halimi's complaint and that football's ruling body will look into the matter.

The Algerians had just been knocked out of the World Cup after losing to an injury-time goal by Landon Donovan of the United States.



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see also
Algeria coach considers quitting
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - USA 1-0 Algeria
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
US best is yet to come - Donovan
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010


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