International

Hodgson: The football world is united

2015-11-16 10:39
Roy Hodgson (AFP)

London - England and France's 92-year-old football rivalry will witness its most solemn chapter at Wembley on Tuesday when the teams unite in solidarity four days after the Paris terror attacks.

Friday's attacks touched football particularly closely, with three suicide bombers blowing themselves up outside the Stade de France as France played Germany.

The cousin of France midfielder Lassana Diarra was one of the 129 people killed, while the sister of his team-mate Antoine Griezmann escaped unhurt from the assault on the Bataclan concert hall.

But the French Football Federation (FFF) insisted that Tuesday's game should go ahead and it is now being seen as an opportunity to put on a united front, with a social media campaign urging England's fans to join in with the French national anthem, 'La Marseillaise', before kick-off.

"The match will be a serious occasion, but one that shows that the football world is united against these atrocities," said England manager Roy Hodgson.

"I'm sure the England team and our fans will play their part and show solidarity with our French friends on Tuesday evening and provide support for both teams during this difficult time."

England's Football Association is expecting a crowd of over 70 000 for the game, including 1 400 travelling supporters.

Fans attending the match can expect a visible security presence outside the stadium and have been urged to arrive early as security checks are expected to take longer than usual.

There were several shows of solidarity in London over the weekend, including a Trafalgar Square vigil, while the Tricolore flag was projected onto famous landmarks including Tower Bridge and the National Gallery.

The giant arch above Wembley was lit up red, white and blue in the immediate aftermath of the attacks and the display will remain in place on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, players from both teams will sport black armbands and there will be a minute's silence before the game.

In an effort to assist fans who wish to join in with 'La Marseillaise', the FA will broadcast the words to the 220-year-old battle hymn on the stadium's display screens while it is playing.

 

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