Saudi Arabia’s soccer team has come under fire due to its own ignorance or malice.
The Saudis upset many in the soccer world Thursday by failing to observe a minute’s silence for the victims of the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attacks prior to their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Australia.
The hosts can be seen in this photo lined up on the edge of the center circle in the victims’ memory, while their fans stood in silence. But Saudi Arabia’s players didn’t follow suit, and their traveling fans made noise throughout, according to Daily Mail Australia’s Hannah Moore.
Two Australians died in Saturday’s attacks.
Moore suggests the Saudis didn’t understand what was happening and cites one Twitter user, who claims Muslim cultures don’t honor the dead in silence. Instead, they “pray, give to charity and speak highly of the person.”
The Australian Football Federation seemed to affirm this interpretation.
“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,” the FFA said in a statement, per FOX Sports.
“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.”
Australia ultimately won the game 3-2 on Tom Rogic’s 64th minute goal.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@talkingbaws