Spain captain Ivana Andres apologised on Monday after a video of her teammates laughing as they attempted a haka drew criticism in New Zealand ahead of the Women’s World Cup.
The players were accused of being disrespectful to Maori culture over the video, which has since been deleted, and Andres asked for “forgiveness for our mistakes” from the local Rangitane tribe at a traditional ceremony to welcome guests.
“We’ve only been a few days in Aotearoa New Zealand and there’s still much to learn about this culture,” she said in Spanish, with local media provided with a translation.
The Real Madrid centre back also presented the tribe with a Spain jersey.
A Rangitane spokesperson told reporters that what happened at the ceremony “was a very good outcome.”
“Their words came from the heart and there was an acknowledgement that they understood the haka is very precious, not only to Maori, but to all of Aotearoa,” the spokesperson said.
Spain play their Group C matches in New Zealand, opening their campaign on Friday when they face Costa Rica in Wellington before taking on Zambia and Japan.
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