In the aftermath of the US Men’s national team’s dramatic 1-0 defeat of Algeria to clinch Group C earlier today, Rafik Saifi forward/midfielder has been accused of assaulting a female reporter. From Yahoo’s Martin Rogers :

While walking through the interview zone, Saifi (above, left) spotted writer Asma Halimi, who works for Algerian newspaper Competition, and struck her with his open hand in front of dozens of witnesses. Halimi responded by striking the player in the mouth.

Saifi then threw a sports drink bottle at a wall in the interview area, as Halimi was ushered away by security staff.

Saifi came on as substitute for the last five minutes of the USA™s 1-0 victory.

œI said nothing to him and he reached over and hit me, Halimi said to Yahoo! Sports. œSo I hit him back. I said nothing to him first.

It is understood that Saifi and Halimi had previously had a difference of opinion over an article she wrote for her newspaper.

œShe was standing there and the guy came here and he hit her, said Francisco Aguilar Chang, a reporter from Guatemala who witnessed the incident. œThen she hit him back and her nail caught his lip.