Saudi Arabia national soccer team declines to participate in London moment of silence

Posted at 8:25 PM, Jun 08, 2017

The Saudi Arabian soccer team apologized after not participating in a moment of silence before an international match hosted by Australia on Thursday, the Washington Post reported. 

The moment of silence was to honor the victims of the terrorist attack in London on Saturday, which killed eight victims. 

According to photos and videos posted on social media, the Australian squad locked arms at midfield while the Saudis took their positions on the pitch. The moment drew ire Australian fans, prompting some to boo the Saudis. 

President of the Saudi Football Federation, Adil Ezzat, sent a written statement to the Washington Post. 

“The Saudi Arabian Football Federation deeply regrets and unreservedly apologizes for any offense 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 June 3rd, 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 nor 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.”

Both teams approved the moment of silence, but the Saudi team said that the moment of silence did not keep with Saudi culture. 

The Australian squad defeated Saudi Arabia 3-2.