Watch: Saudi football authorities apologise after players snub minute's silence for London terror victims




Saudi Arabia's football governing body has apologised for their players ignoring a minute's silence to honour the victims of last weekend's London terror attack.

While Australian players linked arms in the centre of Adelaide Oval before their World Cup qualifier win last night, Saudi players milled about separately in their half of the field.

"The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) deeply regrets and unreservedly apologises for any offence caused ... the players did not intend any disrespect," a statement on the SAFF website read.

A Football Federation Australia spokesman said they were told a minute of silence was 'not in keeping with Saudi culture' before the match, reports Daily Mail Australia.

"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 spokesperson said.

"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 Saudi substitutes on the bench also reportedly refused to stand for the silence.

Football fans were quick to voice their outrage on social media with one fan tweeting:

"Minutes silence for London terror, Saudi players wandering around like they don't give a f***, Saudi fans shouting the whole time #AUSvKSA."

Others were calling for official action to be taken against the Saudi team.

"I hope FFA call out Saudi Arabia on the clear lack of respect shown prior to KO. Not participating in the minutes silence is disgusting," user PG3_12 wrote.

Not everyone was against the Saudi team's actions though, with some explaining it was not in their culture.

"They come from a different culture. They just don't understand the point of being silent for a minute to show sadness, we never do it in KSA," one fan wrote.

Most of those in the Saudi Arabian side are Muslim, and when honouring the dead they pray, give to charity and speak highly of the person but rarely observe silence.

loading error