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Saudi Arabia Footballers Ignore Minute Of Silence For London Terror Attack Victims

‘Disgraceful’ Says Australian PM

The Saudi Arabia  national football team, has been branded ‘disgraceful’ by Australian PM, for failing to take part in the minute of silence for the two Australian casualties of the London terror attack last Saturday.

The Socceroos lined up in the centre of the pitch before the World Cup qualifier and held the brief silence as a tribute to the two Australians killed in the terrorist attack in London at the weekend. As they were showing their respect, the Saudi team carried on passing the ball, jogging and taking their positions on the pitch.

Adam Peacock, a presenter with Fox Sports Australia, said on twitter the minute of silence had been approved by the Asian Football Confederation, even though travelling Saudi Arabian officials had not consented to the proposal.

Sara Zelenak, 21, from Brisbane and the South Australian Kirsty Boden, 28, were killed in Saturday night’s terrorist attack. Two other Australians were stabbed in the neck in the attack, which has been claimed by the terrorist group Islamic State.

The decision for the Saudi team not taking part received swift criticism on twitter.

However, some are defending the actions of the Saudi team, claiming that the minute’s silence was not a recognised way to show respect and condolences in the country’s culture or in Islam more broadly.

Although, others were also quick to note that Gulf countries have taken part in a minute of silence before, including to mark the death of former Saudi King Abdullah.

 

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation has since issued an apology.

“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,” it said in a statement.

“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.”

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