Saudi Arabia have declared Wednesday, 23 November a national public holiday following the shock 2-1 victory over Lionel Messi’s Argentina in a World Cup match in Qatar on Tuesday.

The Group C FIFA World Cup win is considered the greatest upsets in the history of the tournament. Green Falcons beat the world’s third-best team at Doha’s Lusail Stadium. Bafana Bafana were once again missing from the World showpiece.

The historic win also broke Argentina’s 36-game unbeaten streak. They were also a match away from equalling Italy’s 37-match unbeaten record. 

The public holiday will be for all state employees and the private sector. Male and female students in all educational stages, the government announced on Tuesday evening.


“The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Directed to approve what has been proposed by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. That tomorrow, Wednesday, corresponding to 29/04/1444 AH. Will be a holiday for all employees in all government sectors and private sector. As well as students in all educational stages. On the occasion of the Saudi national team’s victory against Argentina national team in the World Cup,” Saudi Arabia’s official news agency, SPA reported. 

Saudi Arabia declares a public holiday after World Cup win
Saudi Arabia declares a public holiday after World Cup win

There was also jubilation in Qatar after full time when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was pictured embracing his brothers.

Universities were given the afternoon off for students to watch the historic game while City streets were almost abandoned.

Women joined men in many cafes and restaurants, a new phenomenon in the desert kingdom, to take in the most unlikely of victories.


Argentina are one of the favourites to win the tournament having beaten rivals Brazil to win the continental Copa America tournament last year. 

The two-time cannot also afford any more slip ups in their remaining two group contests against Mexico and Poland.

Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo will face Ghana in Portugal’s first World Cup match on Thursday.