The head coach of Kazakhstan’s national shooting team got off with a formal reprimand over last month’s incident in which the Kazakh anthem was confused in Kuwait with a parody from a Sacha Baron Cohen movie.
“The questions were resolved” with Kuwaiti officials offering apologies and coach Galina Korchma and her deputy keeping their jobs despite reprimands, Kazakh Sports and Physical Education Minister Talgat Yermegiyayev said, Tengrinews.kz local news website reported on Tuesday.
The embarrassing incident took place during an award ceremony at the Arab Shooting Championships, where Kazakh athlete Maria Dmitrienko won a gold medal.
The anthem that played during the ceremony turned out to be a song from the famous “Borat” 2006 movie satirizing racial stereotypes. Cohen’s mock Kazakhstan anthem touts the country for its prostitutes and its leader’s penis.
Organizers said they downloaded the song online, mistaking it for the real anthem. It remained unclear whether any Kuwaiti officials suffered sanctions over the goof up.
A video of the incident available on YouTube shows a somber Dmitrienko with her hand on her heart during the performance. Media speculated that she might have not known the lyrics, though a coach said she was apparently just at a loss of how to react.
Kazakh athletes, including ethnic Russians who do not speak Kazakh, will be required to learn the country’s anthem, with their knowledge to be tested before the London Olympics this summer, Yermegiyayev said.