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Wembley pays pre-match tribute to victims of Paris attacks

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Nov 2015

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England and France supporters joined players from both teams in singing a rendition of La Marseillaise in tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks ahead of Tuesday night’s international friendly at Wembley

The stadium was illuminated in the colours of the French tricolor flag and the country’s national motto of “Liberte, egalite, fraternite” ahead of kick-off.

FA president the Duke of Cambridge joined England and France coaches Roy Hodgson and Didier Deschamps in laying floral tributes on the touchline, and they were accompanied on to the field by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Breaking with tradition, the home national anthem of God Save the Queen was played first before the words to the French anthem were beamed from the stadium screens and sung as a smattering of tricolour waved throughout the stands. An impeccably observed minute’s silence followed. 

Six co-ordinated terrorist attacks, including one targeting the Stade de France during France’s 2-0 win over Germany, killed 129 people in Paris on Friday night.

Earlier on Tuesday, the scheduled match between Germany and Netherlands in Hannover joined Belgium versus Spain in Brussels in being cancelled amid security fears, although the match at Wembley proceeded amid a heightened law enforcement presence that included armed police.

Asked about those developments before kick-off Hodgson told ITV: “I suppose globally it’s going to be [an] event even more focused on, especially because it’s France who are playing.

“We see the game as a show of solidarity and a show of defiance.

“The French federation were very keen that the game should go ahead to demonstrate the terrorists can’t win, and it’s what we wanted to do.

“It doesn’t feel like it normally feels inside Wembley stadium.”

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