Saudi players in hot water for Russia display

Draw will ‘spice up’ Asian World Cup qualifiers says Indonesia coach

Three of Saudi Arabia’s players have been warned they face punishment when they return home after their miserable World Cup opener against Russia.

The Green Falcons were humiliated in the first game of the tournament after they were thrashed 5-0 by Russia – the first time the host nation had tasted victory since October.

The performance of Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side has been the subject of widespread criticism and Saudi football federation chief Adel Ezzat has singled out three players who are in hot water.

“This result is totally unsatisfactory, because it does not reflect the true level of our preparedness,” he told Al-Youm Assabaa newspaper.

“Several players will face a penalty – goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, striker Mohammad Al-Sahlawi and defender Omar Hawsawi.”

Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al-Sheikh – chairman of the General Sport Authority – added to the criticism by describing the game as a “total fiasco”.

“This is down to their weak potential and ability. We did everything for this team and this generation of players, everything,” he said.

“We brought them the best technical support, a team of the highest level and we paid them for three years.

“But now we see they have limited capabilities. They have achieved just five per cent of what is expected and required of them.”