Saudi Arabia soccer players yesterday refused to observe one Minute Of Silence for the victims of the London Bridge attack, before a match with Australia. The occasion was a qualifying match for the Fifa World Asian Cup, in which the middle-eastern team lost 2-3.

What happened?

At the given moment, the Australian team stood up in line in the middle of the pitch, and so did their coach, along with the team supporters in the Adelaide Oval bleachers. Their opponents' fans were, instead, shouting the whole time, as many witnesses reported. While almost everyone was mourning in silence, the Saudis began to warm up, as they wandered around in their halfcourt, each one in their own position, but all in front of their enemies.

Such a clear message had left the Australian team astonished- each team knew about the minute of silence, something that was established beforehand.The Saudis just declined to participate in it. Moreover, Saudi Arabia has already taken place in tributes to terrorism victims, even last December, during their match against Barcelona to win the Qatar Airways Cup.

Oddly enough, Saudi team officials said to the Australian Soccer Federation (FFA) the tribute was not in line with their principles and their way to respect the custom was to stay in their part of the field and discuss future moves.

The reception

Many users are now enraged with the team's behavior, calling them out on their lack of respect.

They have also proposed to take some radical measures towards their lack of respect. One critique that stands out from the others is the one of Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi. He explains London attackers are seen, under Islam, as martyrs since they just follow Sharia law, which allows Muslims to go after non-believers.

The Saudis, to him, therefore lined up with the jihadist men. Such a comment is quite interesting, especially because of the recent issue within the Arab NATO. In fact, Saudi Arabia recently decided to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar because they were supporters of terrorism. Why is it okay to go after jihadists but so is refusing to respect their victims and their families?

The Sheikh also added it was a matter of honor. In fact, the middle-eastern team would have been ridiculed if it came back home after having waited that so-discussed minute of silence on which they have agreed beforehand.

All in all, it seems their behavior is not a matter of culture or ignorance, but rather a very determined choice. Not mourning the dead, even if they come from another country, is shocking to a lot of people.

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