Government of Saudi Arabia has declared a public holiday to be observed on Wednesday, following their team’s shock win over Argentina at the Qatar World Cup.
Argentina, despite captained by Lionel Messi, one of the greatest footballers of all time, were expected to make short work of the unfancied Saudis before a deep run in the competition.
They came to Qatar as second favourites to lift the trophy behind South American rivals Brazil, according to Reuters.
Thousands of Saudi Arabian fans packed the Lusail Stadium in Doha to cheer their team to a remarkable comeback victory.
A quickfire double of second-half goals by Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari eclipsed Messi’s early penalty kick goal.
“One of the biggest shocks in FIFA World Cup history,” tweeted thethe country’s official account.
Saudi Arabia’s public holiday applies to all employees in public and private sectors, as well as students.
The Saudi ruling Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was visible at the opening game of the tournament, sitting alongside much-maligned FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Saudi Arabia is bidding for hosting rights to the 2030 World Cup.
Argentina’s tournament is now already at risk of collapsing and they face a battle to emerge from Group C as one of two qualifiers for the knockout rounds.
They take on Mexico next on Saturday, after Saudi Arabia play Poland earlier in the day.
@views exclusive rights: Reuters/NAN), News Agencies, November 22, 2022.