UK left red-faced over SA anthem blunder in London Cup

Great Britain's Helen Richardson challenges South Africa's Dirkie Chamberlain during their pool game in the Investec London Cup. (AP)

Great Britain's Helen Richardson challenges South Africa's Dirkie Chamberlain during their pool game in the Investec London Cup. (AP)

Team manager Les Galloway confirmed that the anthem played by the host nation was not Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.

Contrary to an earlier statement released by the South African Hockey Association, it was not a full version of the apartheid-era anthem, Die Stem, either.

“It was not Die Stem, but it was not the correct anthem either, it was like a mix. It was bizarre,” Galloway said.

“We made them aware of it and they have promised to rectify it.”

The national anthem, which was adopted in 1997, consists of a shortened, combined version of the hymn Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa) and Die Stem van Suid Afrika (The Call of South Africa) and incorporates the languages Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans and English.

Galloway said she would listen to the anthem the officials intended playing that night to ensure the error had been corrected.

“We don’t like the old anthem and we don’t want it played. No doubt,” she said.

“...
I have spoken to the officials and by tomorrow [Thursday] night it will be done and dusted.

“We didn’t think it was a serious problem,” she said.

South Africa, ranked 12th in the world, stunned Great Britain, rated fourth, with a 3-1 victory in their opening match of the London Cup tournament.

They face Germany, ranked third in the world, in their next match on Wednesday night. – Sapa

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