Following the London Terror attack, Saudi Arabia’s football team were requested to form in a line and partake in a minute of silence before their match against Australia in the world cup qualifier. All but one of them refused to do so and sauntered off showing no regard for those who lost their lives and continued doing their warm-ups as if those people who were slaughtered were nothing more important than losing your phone.
Yet one man, (who ironically shares the same forename as the Manchester bomber), Salman Al-Faraj stayed firmly in his place, off centre at the half way line, his head bowed and hands behind his back, and paid his respects in the one minutes silence.
This incident has caused outrage among communities, especially those affected by the terror attacks. While Salman stood in silence out of respect, his team mates, despite being instructed to hold their position, decided to go and warm up, and the Saudi fans thought this would be a good opportunity to talk loudly and move around the stadium, showing their lack of respect for those killed and injured.
To add insult to injury, the match also had to be stopped when Saudi Arabia scored a goal as the team had to partake in a complex ritual to pray and thank Allah. Apparently, their culture is far more important than holding still and contemplating for a single minute.
The players on the bench also refused to stand for the minute’s silence.
Officials stated ‘It’s not in their culture’.
Sorry, but to show respect for the dead is a quintessential part of all beings on this planet. Elephants mourn, Apes mourn, Dogs and Cats mourn their losses. Humans mourn. If the Saudi’s truly think that they are above basic human sympathy and empathy, then they are wrong.
The entire team should be disqualified for having the sheer lack of manners to show a little bit of respect to those that were killed in a cowardly attack that claimed the life of a young Australian nurse, who ultimately paid with her life to try and help others.
Salman, the only one to show integrity is the only one of those ‘men’ who should be applauded, for what he did was stick a middle finger up at hatred in the world, and pay his respects to those who were victims.
The teams coach explained the situation to the team; yet, the team chose to flout the instruction and minced away like they’d been told to drink plenty of water on a hot day.
The SAAF claims the players didn’t intend to cause any offense. I call BS. They are grown men, not naive teenagers. They knew exactly what they were all doing, and by doing that, they condone terrorism. They condone the killing of infidels. The killing of women and children. But woe betide them should it be their family that’s affected.
Sorry, but that isn’t how it works. We are all equal.
Once again, Salman, well done on defying your team and doing the right thing.