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Saudi public holiday after Argentina win

A public holiday has been announced in Saudi Arabia after their soccer team earned one of the all-time great World Cup shock wins over Argentina.

November 23, 2022
By AAP
23 November 2022

Saudi Arabia’s sensational 2-1 victory over Argentina at the World Cup has sparked euphoria in the Islamic kingdom.

King Salman ordered a public holiday for Wednesday, as reported by the state agency SPA. 

The holiday applies to all employees in the public and private sectors as well as to all pupils and students. 

Saudi media on Tuesday labelled one of the tournament’s greatest ever shocks as a “historic victory” and a “heroes’ fairytale.”

Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais was particularly praised, with his saves securing the win against the heavy favourites in Qatar.

“A thousand, thousand congratulations, heroes,” wrote Saudi Sports Minister Abdalaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal on Twitter.

The head of the Saudi entertainment authority, influential sports official Turki Al-Sheikh, gave free entry to three amusement parks to celebrate the victory. 

Supporters of the royal family also tried to exploit the success politically. They pointed out that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had not put the team under pressure when receiving them before the World Cup, thus paving the way for success.

The heir to the throne, son of King Salman, is the real strongman in Saudi Arabia.

US intelligence services accuse him of being responsible for the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by an assassination squad from Riyadh.

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