Members of Spain’s women’s football team have come under fire after footage surfaced of them imitating the haka.
In a video originally posted to the team’s official account, four Spanish players imitate what looks like Ngāti Toa's Ka Mate haka before screaming and laughing.
A tweet of the video has gone viral across the football world. Posted with a Spanish caption that translates to: “They will have erased it but this embarrassment cannot be forgotten," the video has been viewed over 850k times and commented on by thousands.
Replies to the tweet call the act inconsiderate and ignorant, especially considering Aotearoa is hosting the team for their World Cup stand.
“Disrespectful to do,” wrote one person. “Unthinkable to record. Unimaginable to edit and post. Unforgivable not to apologise. Show respect for New Zealand and the Māori culture.”
“This is not funny,” said another. “It’s incredibly disrespectful. I don’t understand why anyone would choose to publish this kind of rubbish.”
“The least you can do as a professional footballer privileged enough to travel the world is respect the cultures of the countries you travel to,” a third added. “The complete lack of common sense and ignorance is baffling.
“Mocking the haka in their own country is vile,” one more wrote.
Both Spanish Football and New Zealand Football are to yet comment on the video. FIFA called it a "team matter" and as such refused to comment, as reported by 1 News.
Footage of a Dutch football player imitating the haka has also come under fire. Still up on the team’s official Instagram account, the video shows a player squatting and clapping her hands before saying “Haka” and “Nieuw-Zealand”.
Comments on the video are also calling it disrespectful and ignorant, even asking the admin to delete the video.
The World Cup kicks off on Thursday the 20th, as New Zealand take on Norway at Eden Park. Spain's first game is on Friday the 21st when they'll go up against Costa Rica.