October 25, 2016

Both England and France shows unity and stand against Paris terror attack

England and France Players

The friendly match between England and France brought an overwhelming a feeling of unity. Here was a soundtrack of defiance, sung with raw emotion by supposed rivals who instead stood shoulder to shoulder in the stands and then also on the pitch in solidarity.

As a rendition of La Marseillaise reverberated around Wembley – English lilt looking to intermingle with rasping French voices – it carried with it a sense of pride and empowerment, boldness and strength.

It was a moment, an extraordinary one at that, which gave a lie to the view that international friendlies are meaningless. How could it be when the symbolism was as strong as this?

A message of compassion and togetherness but, more than anything, it said life goes on in the face of adversity and the grotesque barbarism last Friday that has made “Pray For Paris” the over-riding sentiment across the world. A show which said the terrorists will never be allowed to win.

This was personified by the mere presence of Lassana Diarra, whose cousin was one of the innocents slaughtered in the atrocities, and Antoine Griezmann, whose sister escaped the carnage at the Bataclan theatre.

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