Riyadh, 2 April (AKI) - Swiss football referee Massimo Busacca vowed he would wear a whistle with the Swiss Cross symbol on it during of the Saudi championship on Wednesday, despite anger voiced in the Kingdom at the 'crusader' item.
"I have respect for all religions, including Islam, but I don't see anything offensive in this and am optimistic. I will not give up my 'crusader' whistle," he told pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat.
Many in Saudi Arabia had called for Busacca to sport a different whistle to avoid offending Muslims. He has previously refereed several soccer matches in the Kingdom.
The Swiss Cross is Switzerland's national flag and also forms the world famous Swiss army knife logo.
But Muslims associate the Christian symbol with the bloody medieval crusades to conquer Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
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