Saudi Arabia's national football team drew flak on Wednesday for not observing a moment of silence held to remember two Australian victims of London Bridge terror attack before World Cup qualifier.
Saudi players were criticised for ignoring the silence during the match between Saudi Arabia and Australia.
Images from the match showing Saudi players doing pre-match warm-up while Australian players lined up in the ground have since gone viral on social media.
Giving an explanation to the act, Saudi team officials said the country's players failed to observe silence before the match as the practice was not in keeping with the Saudi culture.
The Australian soccer federation, which is known as FFA, said that the silence before Thursday's World Cup qualifying match was pre planned and the Saudi team was informed about it.
"Both the (Asian Football Confederation) and the Saudi team agreed that the minute of silence could be held," the Australian federation said.
"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." it said.
Several on social media criticised the move and termed it as a lack of respect.
"Not participating in the minute's silence is disgusting", one user wrote.
The Centre for International Communication at the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, apologised for the act.
The president of the Saudi Football Federation Adil Ezzat, in a statement, said:
“The Saudi Arabian Football Federation deeply regrets and unreservedly apologizes for any offense caused by the failure of some members of the representative team of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to formally observe the one minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the London terrorist attack on June 3rd, 2017, prior to the World Cup Qualifying match against Australia in Adelaide.
The players did not intend any disrespect to the memories of the victims nor 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.”