An Ivory Coast supporter who went viral after his nation’s win over Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations has issued an apology to his wife after he was caught trying to get a woman’s phone number during the celebrations.
AFCON hosts Ivory Coast dumped out reigning champions Senegal on penalties in their last-16 tie on Monday evening, which sets up a quarter-final clash with Mali this Saturday.
But another incident at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium was seen by millions worldwide as television cameras spotted Ivory Coast fan Anselme Santos speaking closely to a woman in the stands whilst everyone celebrated around them.
The woman clearly looked disinterested by the approach and Santos has now revealed that in the ‘euphoria’ of Ivory Coast’s win, he asked for her number.
Santos says he is now ‘saddened’ and ‘upset’ after watching his actions back in the viral video and has apologised to the female Senegal supporter, as well as his own family.
‘Since we were at the hotel we were with the Senegal fans, having fun, we danced, we ate, we got the bus to the stadium, everyone was having fun,’ Santos said in an interview with Live TV on Wednesday evening.
‘We arrived at the stadium, we had the first goal, Senegal fans were trying to tease us but that’s the game. At the stadium we’re having fun, everyone is happy. If you went to the stadium to be sad it’s not good, if Senegal fans sat one side and us the other there would be no atmosphere.
‘So that’s how you saw it in the video, I was sitting further up [away from the woman] and I was walking down when I saw her waving the Senegalese flag.
‘In the euphoria, we’re having fun, we’re teasing each other, I told her, ‘give me your number’. I didn’t insist and when she didn’t want to I went back to my friend nearby in the stands. I didn’t see her again.
When it was suggested that the video looked like he was harassing the woman, Santos replied: ‘I don’t think it was insisting, it was just fun at the stadium, we were teasing, I didn’t go to the stadium to pick up a woman.
‘When I say, ‘give me your number, give me your number’, it’s not necessarily because I wanted their number, we were having fun, it’s all good.’
Santos then added: ‘When I got back to the hotel, I saw the video on all of the social networks. When I saw it, frankly, it saddened me.
‘I am a father, I have a family, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise my family, my children, my wife and then I take this opportunity to ask for forgiveness from this lady, her family, her community, her husband, her children, we were having fun and it happened but, frankly, I’m really upset about what happened.’
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