Rostov-On-Don: 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 on Tuesday.
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.
VIDEO: Flight carrying the Saudi Arabia national football team suffers 'technical incident' on approach to Rostov-on-Don as the team flew in for their next #WorldCup fixture on Wednesday. No injuries reported. Aircraft believed to be Rossiya Airbus A319. | Video credit TBA. pic.twitter.com/wb5rpQ1DQR
— Airport Webcams (@AirportWebcams) June 18, 2018
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’.”
📹| اللاعب هتان باهبري مطمئنًا الجماهير الرياضية على سلامة البعثة.. pic.twitter.com/FcaoVDMipg
— المنتخب السعودي (@SaudiNT) June 18, 2018
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.