Reuters, Tuesday, June 23, 2009 3 PM
Egypt has blamed its 3-0 loss to the USA at the Confederations Cup - at least partially - on "lies" that the South African media spread about its players consorting with prostitutes after
beating world champion Italy. It was initially reported that Egyptian players returned from the Italy game to find their possessions stolen from their hotel. But local newspapers later reported that
money was not stolen but paid to "ladies of the night" that the players brought to the hotel.
The head of the Egyptian delegation, Mahmoud Taher
, told a news conference on
Monday that the team had been stunned by these reports. "The players have been really subjected to terrible damage in Egypt and they are in a very bad mood right now due to the false allegations that
were published in the newspapers here," he said. "This was not the only reason for the defeat, we had some injuries, and some players got injuries in the match, but these were some of the reasons for
the defeat." Fikile Mbalula
, South Africa's deputy minister of police responsible for security at the event, told a news briefing that the matter was still under
investigation. He added that the police could not be responsible for people or friends invited into hotel rooms "who may not be security-friendly to you." Taher, however, denies that players allowed
any strangers into the hotel. "I am saying that no strangers, no women, no girls, nobody came to the floors or the premises of the Egyptian delegation," he said.
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