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19th Jun 2018

Plane carrying Saudi Arabia’s World Cup team catches fire before landing safely in Rostov

Saudi Arabia are preparing to play Uruguay on Wednesday

Simon Lloyd

A plane carrying Saudi Arabia’s World Cup squad caught fire during a flight to Rostov on Monday

Despite the incident, the aircraft was able to land safely and the team are continuing their preparations for their group game against Uruguay on Wednesday.

A statement has since been posted to social media by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, confirming that ‘all the Saudi national team players are safe,’ and explaining the fire was a result of  ‘a technical failure in one of the airplane engines’.

Other images of the players disembarking the plane have also appeared on Twitter after.

According to The Guardian, Rossiya, the airline responsible for the airline, claimed the preliminary cause of malfunction was a bird flying into the engine.

Video posted to Twitter has shown flames coming from the engine as the plane is in the air.

Saudi Arabia were hammered 5-0 by hosts Russia in the opening game of the tournament in the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. Defeat against Uruguay would almost certainly see them eliminated from the competition, although they also play against Egypt in their final group game.