Minute of Silence for London Terror Victims “Not in keeping with Saudi culture.”
A Saudi Arabian football team refused to honor a minute of silence, for the victims of the London Bridge terror attack. They weren’t even in their own country. They were in Australia. I thought at first maybe they hadn’t understood. A language barrier, perhaps. Nope. They straight up said it didn’t fit in with their culture.
You know what else doesn’t fit in with their culture? Letting women play sports. Or even watch sports. Or drive a car. Or stand the same line as a man. Or leave home, without a male relative. Or leave home, without covering their hair and bodies. Complete gender segregation.
This is a country that puts gay people to death. Will execute you for leaving Islam. For blasphemy. For sex outside of marriage. For being a witch.
Will arrest you for public affection. Drinking alcohol. Just blatantly giving the world the finger.
So I have to ask. Why the hell are they allowed in Australia or anywhere else, to play a football game in the first place?
And a better question, why the hell do they have a seat on the United Nations human rights panel?
-Frustrated Paul Revere
Saudi Arabia’s Football Federation apologized on behalf of the country’s national soccer team for failing to observe a minute’s silence for victims of a recent London terrorist attack ahead of a World Cup qualifying match against Australia.
The incident prompted a furious response in Australia, with the crowd jeering the Saudi team, which instead of lining up moved into positions for the coming match on Thursday as Australia’s players linked arms to pay silent respects to victims. While many of the Saudi players stood still, others including the team captain, Osama Hawsawi, continued warm-ups and stretches.
Eight people died in Saturday’s attack in London, among them two Australians.
The Football Federation Australia issued a statement saying the Saudi team had warned ahead of the qualifier match that players wouldn’t line up because it was “not in keeping with Saudi culture.”
When the stadium announcer called for a minute’s silence Thursday night to honor the eight victims, including two Australians, the 11 Australian players on the field lined up near the center circle with arms on their teammates’ shoulders.
Their opponents from Saudi Arabia stayed on the other side, most seemingly ignoring the gesture, which sparked an immediate backlash. Video appeared to show one Saudi player bending down to tie his shoe lace during the minute of silence.
Football Federation Australia said the Saudi team management knew about the plan to hold a minute’s silence before the match and had indicated that the players wouldn’t participate.
Current Membership of the Human Rights Council