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Plane carrying Saudi Arabia's World Cup team catches fire

20 June 2018

The Saudi Arabian national team's rough start to World Cup continued on Tuesday, as the team's plane caught fire in midair.

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.

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Footage that showed fire shooting from the engines underneath the wings was uploaded to Twitter after the plane had landed. However, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation was quick to release a statement saying that the players are safe.

The players could be seen leaving the plane - a Russian Airlines Airbus A319-100 - shortly after landing.

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After losing their first Group A game 5-0 against hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia take on Uruguay on Wednesday in their second World Cup fixture. And unusually, Barcelona striker Luis Suarez missed three golden chances to score. Defeat against Uruguay would nearly certainly see them eliminated from the competition, although they also play against Egypt in their final group game.

But Group A favourites Uruguay are still widely expected to clobber Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest World Cup team in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings at No. 67.

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Plane carrying Saudi Arabia's World Cup team catches fire