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Thousands of UK F&B outlets remove Saudi flags from World Cup display

Thousands of UK F&B outlets remove Saudi flags from World Cup display

Several Muslims complained that flying the Saudi flag outside a licensed venue was offensive

Thousands of licensed venues in the UK have removed Saudi Arabia flags from World Cup buntings after receiving complaints from Muslims, according to British media reports.

Greene King, which runs more than 3,000 licensed venues across the UK, supplied the decorations which featured all 32 nations competing in the FIFA 2018 World Cup.

However, many Muslims complained to the company that flying the Saudi flag outside a licensed venue was offensive because the flag includes the Shahada, one of the pillars of Islam.

A spokesman told the Daily Mail: “To celebrate the World Cup, we have been displaying the flags of the participating nations to promote what we hope will be a great tournament for all.

“Following feedback from some customers in London… we understand it was inappropriate as it contains the religiously significant Islam shahada in Arabic, and so we have removed it.”

The latest incident comes after German drinks manufacturer Eichbaum faced a severe backlash last month after printing the Saudi flag on World Cup themed-bottle caps.

The Mannheim-based company later apologised, stating that they had featured all the 32 countries that qualified for the finals on their bottles and were unaware of the religious implications of printing the Saudi flag on the bottles.

The company immediately stopped production and withdrew the affected products.

The German Embassy in Riyadh also said it “regretted the unfortunate incident”.

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