Saudi Arabian players have caused outrage when they refused to adhere to a minute’s silence for the victims of the London terrorist attacks at the weekend.
The minute’s silence was schedule to occur at before the start of their World Cup qualifier with Australia, which the Aussie’s won by three goals to two.
The Australian players locked arms and paid homage to the eight people who lost their lives in the London atrocity but the Saudi team moved to their starting positions. One player bent down to tie his shoe laces during the minute of respect.
Their actions started an immediate backlash from fans and press around the world.
The Saudi Arabian Football Association were quick to release a statement of apology saying they “deeply regret and unreservedly apologise for any offence caused.
“The players did not intend any disrespect to the memories of the victims or to cause upset to their families, friends or any individual affect 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.”
However the Australians claim their opponents knew about the planned minute’s silence and had informed them that the Saudi players would not participate.
They insisted that it was not in keeping with their tradition or part of Saudi culture. They said they would move to their side or the pitch and let the Australian team respect their culture.
Neither FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation have passed comment yet.
Two Australian’s died in the London incident and Australian TV reporters were far from happy when they covered the story.
After being informed that it was not Saudi culture, one reporter asked “When they go to a mosque for a funeral, do they stand around or tie their shoelaces?”
Politician Anthony Albanese described it as “a disgraceful lack of respect.”
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Source : Theadvertiser
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