Marissa Langeni, chief executive of the South African Hockey Association, in a letter to tournament organisers, said the country “watched with disbelief as our team stood through what clearly was a most embarrassing and uncomfortable experience.”

South Africa’s women went on to beat their British counterparts 3-1 in their opening game.

“Great Britain Hockey, the organiser of the Investec London Cup, offers a full and unreserved apology to the South African women's hockey team and their supporters for mistakenly playing the wrong national anthem before South Africa's match with Great Britain on Tuesday afternoon,” chief executive Sally Munday said.