Russians confirm engine fire on Saudi World Cup team’s flight

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Saudi Arabia's Taiseer Aljassam, left, is fouled by Russia's Yuri Zhirkov. (Antonio Calanni/AP)

Officials say an engine of a Russian plane carrying the Saudi Arabia team to a World Cup host city caught fire during landing.

Russia’s federal agency for air traffic says in a statement that the Airbus airplane flying from St. Petersburg to the southern city of Rostov-on-Don landed safely Monday night and did not require any emergency procedures.

Tuesday’s statement says the passenger plane landed with both of its engines working and the passengers disembarked normally. An investigation into the incident has begun.

The FIFA World Cup in Russia runs from June 14 to July 15, and Sportsnet.ca will have in-depth daily coverage.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation posted pictures of the players exiting the plan on Monday night and a statement on Twitter saying it "would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they’re heading to their residence safely."

The Saudis were beaten 5-0 by Russia in the World Cup opener in Moscow last week and play Uruguay in Rostov-on-Don on Wednesday.

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