Saudi Arabia Apologises For Ignoring Minute's Silence Against Australia

Saudi Arabia Apologises For Ignoring Minute's Silence Against Australia

After yesterday's controversy at their World Cup qualifier in Adelaide which saw the Saudi Arabian football team ignore a minute's silence held for the London attack victims, their FA has now come out and made a public apology.

On Thursday the team waived the minute's silence and instead held their playing positions while waiting for the Australians to finish making their respects. An Australian FA Spokesperson then said that the Saudi team had initially agreed to it but then told them before kick-off that they would not be honouring the silence as it was "not in keeping with Saudi culture."

A world media backlash saw the Saudi team widely condemned for their actions with many publications bringing attention to recent instances of gulf teams holding silence for the deceased Saudi Arabian King Abdullah.


In a statement released on Friday, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation have apologised saying that the players did not have any intention to disrespect those affected by the attack and that they do not support any extremism.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation deeply regrets and unreservedly apologises for any offence caused by the failure of some members of the representative team of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to formally observe the one minute's silence in memory of the victims of the London terrorist attack on 3 June 2017, prior to the World Cup Qualifying match against Australia in Adelaide.

The players did not intend any disrespect to the memories of the victims or to cause upset to their families, friends or any individual affected by the atrocity.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation condemns all acts of terrorism and extremism and extends its sincerest condolences to the families of all the victims and to the Government and people of the United Kingdom.

In the game itself, Australia twice blew a lead before Tom Rogic powered home to kickstart a tug-of-war between themselves, Japan and Saudi Arabia for the top two spots with only two games to go.

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Gavin O'Callaghan

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