Celebrities have this morning voiced their outrage and disgust over shocking scenes at Adelaide Oval overnight, when the visiting Saudi Arabian soccer team refused to participate in a minute of silence for the victims of the London terrorist atrocity.
Leading the charge was Sunrise favourite Samantha Armytage, who rejected the team’s explanation that deciding not to participate in the act of respect was due to ‘cultural reasons’. The team previously participated in a minute's silence over a plane crash.
'It's bloody disgraceful. I'm so angry about this today and we're thinking of the families of the two girls who we killed even more so,' said a furious Sam. 'I'm not going to be impartial about this, I'm furious about this.
'Saudi officials were told by Australian officials before their match that the players would have to stand there during this silence, this was coming.
'And the Saudis said they would move off to the side, but it wasn't part of their culture to do this. That didn't happen.
'How could it be against someone's culture to respect innocent civilians who have been slaughtered?'
Comedian Dave Hughes took to Twitter to call for the team to be excluded from Australia, referencing a prior incident where the team refused to use a bus because the driver was a woman.
‘In Melb during 2015 Asian Cup, Saudi team refused to board bus driven by a woman. They should not be given entry to our country,’ he wrote.
Visiting megastar Boy George also voiced his displeasure, writing, ‘This does not come as a shock but it is very disappointing!'
In damage control as fury exploded around the world, the Saudi Football association has issued the following statement:
‘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 Saudi Arabian Football Federation condemns all acts of terrorism and extremism and extends its sincerest condolences to the families of all the victims and to the Government and people of the United Kingdom.’
The Saudi team lost 3-2 to Australia.