Belfast Telegraph

Paris attacks: Defiant French players available for England friendly despite grief

By Staff Reporter

All 23 members of the France squad - including Lassana Diarra and Antoine Griezmann - will fly to England for the friendly at Wembley.

Diarra's cousin Asta Diakite was one of the 129 people who died in the Paris terror attacks on Friday night.

Griezmann's sister managed to escape the mass killing at the Bataclan theatre, where 89 people died after it was stormed by armed terrorists.

Both were playing in France's friendly win over Germany at the Stade de France on Friday - which was also targeted by terrorists - while the attacks took place.

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France coach Didier Deschamps offered his players the chance to pull out of the squad for Tuesday's match against England in London if they did not feel up to it, but despite being directly affected by the attacks, both players have remained with the squad and will fly to England for tomorrow's friendly, according to France's team media officer Philippe Tournon.

"All the players are coming," he said.

The Wembley Arch will be lit up in the red, white and blue colours of the French flag to show solidarity with the visiting nation. Screens will show the French motto "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" outside the ground and before kick-off the words of La Marseillaise - the French national anthem - will be shown to help any England fans who want to join in.

Meanwhile uncapped Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard has been called up to the England squad.

Belfast Telegraph


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