London - A communal rendition of the French
national anthem will provide the emotional centre-point as France play England
at Wembley on Tuesday four days on from the devastating Paris attacks.
The stadium's bars will shut five minutes
before kick-off to encourage fans to observe tributes that will include a
minute's silence, the laying of flowers by team captains Wayne Rooney and Hugo
Lloris and the singing of 'La Marseillaise', which England's fans have been
urged to join in with.
Breaking with convention, the French anthem
will be played second, with the hymn's lyrics shown on the stadium's big
screens, in order to create a stand-alone moment of solidarity during which the
129 people who died in the carnage that struck the French capital last Friday
will be remembered.
"We will sing that together and share
in that moment," said France goalkeeper Lloris, who plays for London club
"It will be sung by a great number of
English people as well, which will make it stronger.
"This game is a good opportunity to
represent the French nation. The French nation is more important than French
football tomorrow (Tuesday)."
While British authorities have received no
specific intelligence about any planned attacks, armed police will be deployed
around the stadium to reassure an expected crowd of around 80,000 that will
include Prince William as well as 1 400 travelling supporters.
Fans have been urged to arrive early as
security checks are expected to take longer than usual, with the bags of every
single person in attendance due to be searched.
Paris's Stade de France was targeted by
suicide bombers during Friday's attacks, leaving four people dead including
three attackers, but the Football Association said that tickets for Tuesday's
game had sold at a healthy rate in the days since. Only around 100 tickets have
The FA has confirmed that the giant arch
over Wembley will continue to be lit in the red, white and blue of the French
Tricolor, while France's motto - 'Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite' - will be shown
on screens outside the ground.
The match itself promises to be a curious
spectacle, with players on both sides having admitted that it will be
difficult, if not impossible, to focus on football so soon after Friday's
horrors, which also left over 350 people injured.
But all are mindful that the event will
serve as a powerful show of unity, echoing FA chief executive Martin Glenn's
declaration that "the eyes of the world" will be on Wembley.
"I'm happy the game's on," said
Rooney, who is due to return to England's starting XI after starting Friday's
2-0 loss to Spain on the bench.
"It shows France wants to show these
terrorists they're standing strong against them, and we have to support that.
"Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be a great
night of togetherness for everyone to see, for the terrorists to see the world
will go on and stand against them."
Friday's attacks claimed by Islamic State
touched the France squad particularly closely. The cousin of France midfielder
Lassana Diarra, Asta Diakite, was among those killed, while the sister of
forward Antoine Griezmann escaped unhurt from the assault on the Bataclan
France coach Didier Deschamps praised
Diarra's decision to remain with the squad despite the fact the Marseille
midfielder was "hurting to the bone".
"We can't forget," an emotional
Deschamps told his pre-game press conference.
"We've had two days to get over this
immense sadness. Today we're here and our energy has to be focused on preparing
for this match with as much dignity and solemnity as possible."
Rooney added: "Sometimes, when bad
things happen, football is the place where you feel more comfortable. Their
players might take that into consideration."
Euro 2016 hosts France are seeking to
record a sixth successive win, following their impressive 2-0 defeat of world
champions Germany, while Roy Hodgson's England are hoping to return to winning
ways after their 15-game unbeaten run was ended by Spain in Alicante.
Michael Carrick, Fabian Delph and Jamie
Vardy have withdrawn from England's squad due to injury, with Tottenham Hotspur
midfielder Ryan Mason and uncapped Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard