There was a little bit of drama on Thursday as Saudi Arabia’s football national team refused to observe a minute’s silence in honour of the victims of the London Bridge terror attack.
The shocking incident occurred ahead of the FIFA World Cup Asian qualifying match between Saudi Arabia and Australia.
When the stadium announcer called for a minute’s silence, 11 Australian players on the field lined up at the center circle with their arms on their teammates’ shoulders, but Saudi Arabian footballers ignored the tradition and took their positions on the pitch.
According to officials, the minute’s silence was approved by the Asian Football Confederation before the game and while Saudi Arabia’s national team agreed to the tribute, the players refused to pay their respects.
Last Saturday’s terror attack at London Bridge claimed the lives of seven people, including two Australian citizens.
After the match, a spokesperson for Football Federation Australia (FFA) also confirmed that they had an agreement with the Asian Football Confederation to hold minute’s silence for the victims of the London Bridge terror attack.
‘The FFA sought agreement from the Asian Football Confederation and the Saudi national team to hold a minute’s silence in memory of those lost in Saturday night’s terror bombings in London and in particular the two Australian women.
‘Both the AFC and the Saudi team agreed that the minute of silence could be held.
‘The FFA was further advised by Saudi team officials that this tradition was not in keeping with Saudi culture and they would move to their side of the field and respect our custom whilst taking their own positions on the field
The match ended 3- 2 in favour of Australia, leaving Saudi Arabia at 16 points in their qualifying group.