They’re Wahhabists, man. Be happy they didn’t high-five.
The match was held in Australia and the announcement of a minute of silence was made in English. Simple misunderstanding due to a language barrier? Nope:
A spokesperson from the Football Federation Australia told Daily Mail Australia they had been advised prior to the match that the Saudi team would not be taking part.
‘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.
‘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.
That was the main defense in the aftermath, that Arab culture just isn’t familiar with the idea of pausing in silence to honor the dead. But that claim was easily disproved: The Guardian collected several tweets from sporting events in the Arab world over the past few years showing teams or fans observing a moment of silence. Two involved silence for the late King of Saudi Arabia; another involved a Saudi professional soccer team before a club match.
It wasn’t just the team that chose to ignore the minute of silence either. Some Saudi fans were reportedly shouting throughout.
C’mon, what’s the real reason for this snub? Sincere sympathy with the jihadis, or would it be bad press for the Saudi team back home to be seen as sympathizing with the infidel after an ISIS operation?