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Saudi Arabia's football team slammed for 'disrespectful' snub to minute silence for London Bridge victims

Saudi Arabian players seemingly ignored the gesture for the victims of the London attack [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 June, 2017

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Saudi Arabia's national football team have come under fire for ignoring a minute's silence for the victims of the last weekend's attack on London Bridge.

Saudi Arabia's national football team have come under fire for ignoring a minute's silence for the victims of the last weekend's attack on London Bridge.

Ahead of a World Cup qualifying match against Australia on Thursday, the stadium announcer called for a minute's silence to honour the eight victims of the attack, including two Australians.

The 11 Australian players on the field lined up near the centre circle with arms on their teammates' shoulders.

Their opponents from Saudi Arabia stayed on the other side, most seemingly ignoring the gesture.

Video appeared to show one Saudi player bending down to tie his shoe lace during the minute's silence.

Social media users have harshly criticised the Saudi team for its disrespectful behaviour towards the victims of the attack, which has been claimed by the Islamic State group.

FIFA said on Friday it has reviewed the match report and images from the incident and will not take any action against Saudi Arabia.

"We can confirm that there are no grounds to take disciplinary action," FIFA said.

The Saudi federation said in a statement that 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 statement read.

Australia won the match 3-2.

The Australia soccer federation said Saudi team officials knew about the plan to hold a minute's silence before the match and had indicated that the players would not participate.

Senior Australian Labour politician Anthony Albanese described the incident as "a disgraceful lack of respect."

"There is no excuse here. This isn't about culture," he said. "This is about a lack of respect."

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