The plane carrying Saudi Arabia’s World Cup team suffered a fire in one of its engines as the players flew to Rostov-on-Don for their next match, the Saudi football federation said Monday.
The aircraft landed safely after what one of the Saudi players called a “simple malfunction”.
“It was a small fire in one of the engines, the right engine, but the plane landed safely,” association president Ahmad Al Harbi told Saudi sports TV channel KSA.
One of the Saudi players, Hatan Bahbir, said in a video on the federation’s Twitter account: “We arrived safely and we are all fine… it was a simple malfunction’.”
In the video, someone off-camera asks him if he was scared. He replies: “No, no. Well, of course we were scared a bit, but thank God.”
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said in a statement it “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 team were flying to Rostov-on-Don for their second match, against Uruguay on Wednesday, after they were thrashed 5-0 by Russia in the opening game of the tournament.