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Saudi Arabia FIFA World Cup 2018 team plane catches fire, players safe

Unverified video footage showed the wing of the aeroplane in fire, in which the Saudi Arabia national team was travelling . The Saudi Arabian Football Federation was quick to release a statement saying that the players are safe.

football Updated: Jun 19, 2018 02:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
FIFA World Cup 2018,Saudi Arabia football team,Saudi Arabian Football Federation
The Saudi Arabia national team arriving in Rostov on Don for their FIFA World Cup 2018 match.(Twitter)

The Saudi Arabia national team, currently playing in the FIFA World Cup 2018, survived a scare after their plane caught fire mid-air. The Group A team was travelling from Moscow to Rostov-on-Don for their second match against Uruguay on Wednesday.

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Unverified video footage showed the wing of the aeroplane in fire. However, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation was quick to release a statement saying that the players are safe.

“The Saudi Arabian Football Federation would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they’re heading to their residence safely,” the SAFF said in a statement.

The players could be seen leaving the plane - a Russian Airlines Airbus A319-100 - shortly after landing.

Saudi Arabia’s World Cup campaign begun on poor note as they went down to hosts Russia 5-0 in the opening match of the 2018 edition.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia will face off with Uruguay, who are hoping to appease some worries after only beating Egypt 1-0 thanks to a late goal.

READ | Russia open FIFA World Cup 2018 with a five-star show against Saudi Arabia

Bizarrely, two-time World Cup champions Uruguay have never beaten the ‘Green Falcons’; Saudi Arabia won a friendly in 2002 while a 2014 friendly ended in a draw.

In another potential source of reassurance for the perennially underachieving Saudis, the usually ruthless Suarez missed three chances against Egypt on Friday in their opening game.

But Group A favourites Uruguay are still widely expected to clobber Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest World Cup team in the FIFA rankings at No. 67.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 01:59 IST