A controversial viral video hinted at a conflict within the Ivory Coast's national football team. In the video, Serge Aurier, the current captain of the national team is seen seated in the team bus supposedly before the match against Japan on Tuesday, October 13. The former captain, Serey Dié is seen grabbing his younger team-mate by the neck. He can also be seen slapping the Tottenham player a couple of times. Sources have stated that the interaction was not a serious one. The experienced player was merely "teasing" according to the reports.

Ivory Coast lost 1-0 to Japan last week at the Stadion Galgenwaard, Netherlands. Before the match, the 27-year-old defender was apparently cornered and "beaten up" by the 35-year-old midfielder. The video of the hostile interaction went viral on social media. In the video, Aurier is seen being held down against the seat of the team bus as Dié is standing over him. The former Elephants captain is seen slapping away at the younger player. He also grabs the player by the nose at one point.

Other players can be heard in the background as Dié continues to confront Aurier. Soon after the video gained attention, there were reports clarifying that the interaction was a friendly one. A source pointed out that the older player had retired from the national team but was called up again this year due to his positive influence.

PTDRR Serey Die qui bolloss Serge Aurier 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/KfN3d3hwUl

— Greg 🏴‍☠️ (@greg_229) October 19, 2020

According to Africa Top Sports, a source dismissed speculations of hostility among the teammates. They confirmed that the video was shot before the match against Japan. Dié was reportedly "teasing" the captain. The source pointed out that the older player views the other teammates as his "younger brothers." The interaction was a playful gesture to uplift the spirit of the team.

Even in the video, Aurier can be seen cracking a smile while being manhandled by Dié. Other team-members also do not seem to be alarmed. Some can be heard laughing in the background of the video indicating the harmless nature of the interaction. However, fans continue to speculate if the treatment meted out to the Tottenham should be tolerated by the star.

Serge Aurier
Ivory Coast captain Serge Aurier manhandled by former captain Serey Die. (representational images) Getty Images