Why Did Saudi Arabia Not Stand in Minute’s Silence For London Victims?

The Saudi Arabian soccer team refused to line up for a minute’s silence for the London terror victims on Thursday night because it is ‘not in keeping with their culture’ according to a spokesman for Football Federation Australia.

Fans were left outraged at the display ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Australia in Adelaide. But few sought to understand why.


A spokesperson from the Football Federation Australia said that 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.

‘Both the AFC and the Saudi team agreed that the minute of silence could be held.

The agreement itself shows a respect for the cultures and customs of other nations and what they choose to do, especially showing respect towards the Australian teams decision to have a minutes silence for the two Australian nationals that passed.

‘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.’

This was something The FFA were completely aware of and not a defiant stunt by the Saudi Arabian team.

‘FOXSPORTS, was informed of this prior to the minute’s silence taking place.’

Their efforts of respect despite the seemingly disrespectful act didn’t go unnoticed by some.

One player did stand in a minutes silence out of his own choice.


The twitter storm that followed brought out the worst in people. Xenophobia, Islamophobia and hate speech towards the Saudi Arabian team. However, some sought to explain the reasons why they did it.

Saudi fans claimed it was not from their culture, customs or religion to take a moment of silence to respect the dead.


The minutes silence was for the victims of the London Attack. But let’s put this in context. Before then there was the Manchester Attack and since then, there were the attacks in Kabul, Iran and Baghdad. Yet there were no minutes silence for those atrocities.

This didn’t go unnoticed either.

The Saudi Arabian team’s choice however was not a political one but an ethical and cultural one. They do not stand for minutes silence in general.

A point was drawn that there has been a minutes silence in the past for a dead king held at the 2015 Handball Tournament.

If one stands with all people, then we literally stand for all or for none. These gestures are meant to show solidarity, but when we do not stand with and for all people, what looks like a minutes silence for one is a lack of unity for others.

One thought on “Why Did Saudi Arabia Not Stand in Minute’s Silence For London Victims?

  1. Ali Reply

    In the Quran it is permitted for us to mourn for 3 days for the loss of a loved one. After that life must go on because it was God’s choice to take that life and you cannot argue with God.

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