Saudi Arabia’s terrible loss to Russia in the opening match of the FIFA 2018 World Cup has sparked a lot of reactions including that of the nation’s football authority headed by Turki al-Sheikh.
According to al-Sheikh in a video featured on Twitter, the team failed to fulfill requirements “even by five percent” after suffering a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Russia in the first match of the tournament at Moscow’s 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium.
“We’ve done everything we could for the national team players,” he said.
“We’ve been covering all their expenses for three years, we’ve hired the best coaching team and a world-class head coach for them, but they did not fulfill what was required of them even by five percent.
We must accept this reality, their abilities and capabilities are like that.”
Al-Sheikh added stated he was fully responsible for the poor performance of the national team and opined it was necessary to start training about 1,000 Saudi young men aged 12-16 in order to create a strong national team.
The World Cup will continue through July 15, with a total of 64 matches set to be played at 12 stadiums across 11 Russian cities.