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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 July 2018

Saudi Arabia's World Cup squad suffer scare as airplane has 'technical failure' in the air

Social media videos show signs of flames coming from engine on flight to Rostov, with plane landing safely and no-one being hurt in the incident

Saudi Arabia's players training earlier in the week. They endured a difficult Monday night as their plane taking them to Rostov-on-Don developed a "technical fault" in one of the engines. The plane safely landed with no-one hurt. Giuseppe Cacace / AFP 
Saudi Arabia's players training earlier in the week. They endured a difficult Monday night as their plane taking them to Rostov-on-Don developed a "technical fault" in one of the engines. The plane safely landed with no-one hurt. Giuseppe Cacace / AFP 

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said on Monday its national team landed safely in the Russian city of Rostov after what it described as a minor technical fault in one of the engines.

Videos shared on social media appeared to show an aircraft that posters identified as the Saudi team's plane with its wing on fire while it was in the air.

"All the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed," the federation said a statement on Twitter.

A further tweet added: "The Saudi national team airplane that developed a technical fault is not carried out by the Saudi Arabian airlines, it was provided by the IATA organizational committee for the teams participating in the World Cup."

The team were flying to Rostov-on-Don for their second game at the World Cup on Wednesday against Uruguay. They lost their opening game in Moscow against Russia on Thursday 5-0.

The squad are scheduled to train on Tuesday with manager Juan Antonio Pizzi and one player due to appear at a news conference to preview the Uruguay game in the afternoon, although Monday's flight will be a key talking point.

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