RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian football federation has apologised that its players ignored a minute of silence for the London killings at a World Cup qualifying tie against Australia last week.

The public address announcer in Adelaide requested a minute’s silence before the start of the match and the Australian players formed a line in the centre of the pitch.

However, most Saudi players sat around, prompting outrage among fans spectators and politicians aware that two Australians had been among the eight people killed in the attacks in central London.

Now Saudi federation president Adil Ezzat, has expressed his regrets.

He said: “The Saudi Federation deeply regrets and apologizes unreservedly for any outrage that may have been caused by the failure to observe a minute of silence. The players had no intention of disrespecting the victims or disrupting their families, friends or anyone affected by the atrocity. ”