Saudi Arabia's official team plane catches fire in mid air

The head of Saudi's sport authority said beIN had exploited sport for political goals in some of the commentary following Saudi's loss to Russia last Thursday. AFP

Saudi Arabia fell to a 5-0 defeat in the tournament's opening game to hosts Russian Federation and need to avoid losing against Uruguay in Wednesday's match if they hope to qualify for the knockout phases of the World Cup.

The team were travelling on a Rossiya Airbus A319 from St Petersburg to Rostov-on-Don, where they are due to play their second Group A match against Uruguay on Wednesday.

The plane landed safely and the plane is being repaired. "The aircraft's landing took place in a routine fashion", supposedly with both engines still intact and operating normally.

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The videos uploaded to twitter show fire shooting from the engines underneath the wings. The team added that the fire was an "accident" and the players have reached the residence where they are staying until their next match. The team also released photographic evidence that its players are, in fact, safe as they de-boarded from their plane in Rostov-on-Don.

Saudi Arabia, who suffered a 5-0 defeat to Russian Federation in their first World Cup game, were on their way to Rostov for their second group game.

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.

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