Football

Saudis apologise over minute's silence snub

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) has apologised after its national team did not properly observe a minute's silence for the victims of the London attacks before the start of a World Cup qualifier in Australia on Thursday.

The Australia team lined up in the centre circle ahead of the match at Adelaide Oval, but all bar one of the Saudi players, although silent, dispersed around the pitch and continued to jog and stretch.

Eight people were killed and 50 injured after three militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge last Saturday, then attacked revellers nearby with knives. Two of the dead were Australian.

The governing body of Saudi football later issued a statement saying it "deeply" regretted and "unreservedly" apologised for their players not "formally" observing the minute's silence.

"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 added.

"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."

Fifa has announced yesterday that no sanction will be imposed on SAFF.

"After reviewing the match report and images of the said match, we can confirm that there are no grounds to take disciplinary action in relation to the matter you mention," Fifa said in a statement.- REUTERS

World CupSaudi ArabiaAustralia