Days after having the worst possible start to the World Cup that a team could have, it appears that the Saudi Arabian team are running short on luck in general.
On the way to Rostov where they’ll face Uruguay in their second match at the tournament on Wednesday (June 20), fears arose for their safety when the plane that they were travelling in caught fire.
The fire, which was contained on the right wing of the plane, was captured by different social media users on board as well. The airline that the team took was Rossiya Airlines.
فيديو لتصوير لحظة إشتعال النار في جناح الطائرة .. pic.twitter.com/vqquyDQI5V
— اخبار كرة القدم (@Nsports24) June 18, 2018
— A. 🇩🇪 (@AhmedMashaly24) June 18, 2018
Fortunately, the Saudi Arabian Football Association released a statement that the players were unhurt and safe after what it said was a “minor technical malfunction in an engine”.
Saudi Arabia, which was trashed 5-0 in the opening match of the World Cup finals against hosts Russia, reassured fans that players were fine as they posted statements and photos of smiling players after the ordeal.
— Saudi National Team (@SaudiNT_EN) June 18, 2018
The reason for the incident?
According to a Rossiya Airlines spokesman quoted in a Reuters report, it was due to a “technical fault with one of its engines, with a bird getting caught seen as the preliminary cause”.
“Nothing threatened the safety of the passengers. The aircraft’s landing took place in a routine fashion. No warning was sounded during the landing at Rostov-on-Don airport”, the spokesman added.
A humiliating defeat and a plane on fire have thrust the Saudi Arabian football team into the spotlight so far. Fans are surely hoping the players will just get back to the pitch for some incident-free football soon.