France’s entire football squad will travel to England on Monday November 16 before a football friendly on Tuesday in a united act of resilience following the terrorist crimes in Paris.
Among the French players is Lassana Diarra whose cousin, Asta Diakite, was one of the victims in Friday’s attacks across Paris. Diarra was playing against Germany in the Stade de France when suicide bombers targeted the arena. Another player, Antoine Griezmann, had a sister in the Bataclan theatre and she escaped safely from the music venue.
Wembley will have extra security for the match on Tuesday and fans have been told to arrive early. A special lighting of the red, white and blue colours of the French flag will adorn the Wembley Arch in a show of solidarity with France.
‘Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite’, the French motto, will be displayed on screens outside the venue before the match takes place and the words of the French national anthem will be on show for those who wish to sing along.
Roy Hodgson, the England manager, welcomed the decision to go ahead with the match saying that the ‘football world is united against these atrocities’.
Germany are also going ahead with a match against Holland on Tuesday in Hanover. The German players stayed in the Stade de France on Friday night and Angela Merkel will attend Tuesday’s game along with the interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere .
Interim German football association president, Reinhard Rauball said,
“The message is clear: we will not be intimidated by terror. For the team to play against the Dutch only a few days after the terrible experiences in Paris is a necessary signal.”