Thousands of licensed establishments across the UK have taken down Saudi flags following complaints from Muslims, according to British media reports, Arabian Business has said.

Greene King, a British company that operates over 3,000 licensed establishments across the country, had put up the Saudi flags alongside the flags of the 31 other countries that will play in the upcoming World Cup in Russia, the Daily Mail reported.

Many customers, however, objected to the flags being displayed in a licensed establishment as they include the Shahada, the Islamic statement of faith.

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“To celebrate the World Cup, we have been displaying the flags of participating nations to promote what we hope to be a great tournament for all,” a Greene King spokesman said.

“Following feedback from some customers in London about displaying a Saudi Arabia flag in a [licensed establishment], we understood it was inappropriate as it contains the religiously significant Islamic Shahada in Arabic, and so we have removed it,” the spokesman added.

In May, a German drinks manufacturer apologised after including a Saudi flag on World Cup themed-bottles, sparking a fierce backlash on social media.

In a statement, the Mannheim-based drinks manufacturer said they had included all 32 countries on their bottles, but were unaware of the religious significance of the text on the Saudi flag.