A Saudi footballer has been praised for observing a minute’s silence for victims of the London terror attack – while his team-mates chose not to honour the dead.
Other team-mates ran off and did warm-ups – but 27-year-old Salman Al-Faraj, wearing number 7, solemnly held his hands behind his back and stared at the ground.
The team was widely reviled for refusing to take part in the minute’s silence – with officials claiming that it was ‘not in keeping with Saudi culture’.
While Australia’s players locked arms in the centre circle in the traditional way, the Saudi team did not follow suit.
Instead, they took to their positions in their half of the field.
Some Saudi players remained still while the minute’s silence took place, while others continued warming up and reports at the ground claimed their bench failed to stand.
In the wake of controversy, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation issued a statement saying it ‘deeply regrets and unreservedly apologises for any offence caused.’
‘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.’
‘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.’