During a match in Australia Thursday night, the majority of the Saudi Arabian players continued to warm-up as the Socceroos stood arms linked and heads bowed.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said their players’ behavior had not been intended to offend in a statement Friday.
“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.
Football Federation Australia said in a statement Thursday that both the Asian Football Confederation and the Saudi Arabian team had agreed to hold a minute’s silence before the match in Adelaide to pay tribute to the victims.
However, the FAA said it 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.”
“The local broadcaster, FOXSPORTS, was informed of this prior to the minute’s silence taking place,” it added.
“The whole world, the whole free world is united in condemnation of that terrorist attack and terrorism generally and in sympathy and love for the victims and their families,” he said.
In its statement, the Saudi federation said it condemned all acts of terrorism and extremism and extended its condolences to the families of the victims.
Australia eventually won the match by three goals to two.