France keen to show pride against England at Wembley

Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:52pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - France will be keen to represent their colors with more pride than ever when they take the field in a friendly against England at Wembley four days after the deadly attacks in Paris, coach Dider Deschamps said on Monday.

The decision to play the highly emotional game was taken on Saturday morning by French federation president Noel Le Graet and Deschamps.

"We are here now to take the field to represent our country probably with even more pride than we normally would and to make sure that our colors, blue, white, and red, will be represented with more pride," Deschamps told a news conference at Wembley on the eve of the game.

"It will be much more than a sports event. We are here to represent our country and show that we are proud to be French in a historical stadium and I want to thank the English fans for their messages of solidarity.

"It will be an emotional game."

Les Bleus were playing Germany at the Stade de France on Friday when three explosions were heard outside the stadium as suicide bombers blew themselves up, killing one.

In central Paris, gunmen attacked bars, restaurants and a concert hall killing an additional 128 in the worst atrocity in France since World War II.

"We were focused on our game on Friday," said Deschamps. "We were told what happened at the end of the match."

Players and staff stayed inside the stadium with their German counterparts until late in the night before they decided the England friendly should go ahead as scheduled.   Continued...

Football - France Press Conference - Wembley Stadium, London, England - 16/11/15
France coach Didier Deschamps during the press conference 
Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne