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Saudi Football Chiefs Apologize over Team’s Refusal to Pay Tribute

The Saudi football chiefs have apologised over their team's refusal to pay tributes to the London Attack victims.

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Saudi Football Players (White) getting into playing positions while Australia (Yellow) pays tribute. Twitter.
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  • Saudi Arabia and Australia played a World Cup qualifying game in Australia on Thursday, 8th of June
  • Before the game, Australian players linked arms in tribute to the victims of the London Attack
  • The players from the Saudi team did not take part in the tribute, inviting criticism from all over the world

June 06, 2017: The Football Federation Australia (FFA) organized a minute’s silence to pay their tributes to the victims of the London Attack minutes before the start of the World Cup qualifying game between Australia and Saudi Arabia and both the teams were briefed in advance.

While the Australian stars linked arms and stood in support of condemning the terror attack, the Saudi players were seen taking up their respective playing positions on the field for the kick-off despite having agreed to the tradition in the pre-game briefing.

ALSO READ: Police Identify 3rd London attacker

The Saudi Arabian team has invited a lot of criticism and anger from the world over. Social media was quick to react and bring up the issue, prompting an apology from the Saudi Football officials. An Australian MP called it “a disgraceful act”.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation has made an “unreserved apology”. They continue that the “players did not intend any disrespect to the victims or their families”. They also condemned all acts of terror.

ALSO READ: Theresa May’s Response to London Attack

Two Australians were among the eight victims who died in the London terror attack. Australia went on to win the game 3-2 and joined Saudi Arabia and Japan at the top of the group stage.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Australian government to find humane solutions for refugees in Manus Island

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FILE - An undated image released Nov. 13, 2017, shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. (Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters)
FILE - An undated image released Nov. 13, 2017, shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. (Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters). VOA

The U.N. refugee agency is calling on the Australian government to find humane solutions for hundreds of refugees it has abandoned in a precarious situation on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

UNHCR accuses the Australian government of shirking its responsibilities to care for and protect some 800 refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island.

It says the situation has become more precarious for the refugees since the government closed its so-called offshore processing facility at the end of October. Over the past four weeks, it notes, refugees who were moved to three new accommodation sites have been attacked several times. The worst case involved three people armed with machetes and an axe.

UNHCR spokeswoman, Cecile Pouilly, says local hostility and resentment against the refugees is high and growing. She told VOA the Australian authorities must resolve this critical situation.

“We are talking here about people who have suffered extreme trauma and now are feeling so insecure in these places where they are staying. There are many victims of torture. People who have been deeply traumatized have been detained, having no idea what is going to happen next to them. I think this mental issue, this psychological issue is a major one,” Pouilly said.

A recent medical report commissioned by UNHCR finds the cumulative effect of uncertainty about their future is causing a deterioration in the mental and physical health of the refugees.

It warns cessation of services, substandard living and hygiene conditions and inadequate medical care are increasing violence and self-harm among the refugees. (VOA)

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