After Paris attacks, English soccer fans salute France by roaring out the 'Marseillaise'

Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:50pm EST
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By Costas Pitas and Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - English soccer fans saluted France on Tuesday by roaring out the 'Marseillaise' national anthem at a friendly match watched by British politicians and royalty in a show of solidarity just days after Islamic State militants struck Paris.

As armed police looked on, David Cameron, Prince William and London Mayor Boris Johnson joined England fans in an emotional rendition of the French anthem at Wembley Stadium which was lit up in the blue, white and red of the French flag.

England won 2-0.

In an impassioned display of support for France after the killing of 129 people in Paris, 71,000 fans applauded at the opening of the match as the two teams ignored the etiquette of standing apart to mingle into a single line, their arms draped around each other's shoulders.

Fans observed a minute of silence for the fallen. Later, supporters from both sides waved the French tricolour, some with posters reading "Pray for Paris".

"Seeing Wembley in blue, white and red gives me goose pimples," said Eric Lavaud, a 55-year-old France supporter.

"We are not scared," said Lavaud, who had draped a French flag around his neck and had been at the Stade de France on Friday for the friendly with Germany.

Explosions at that match between France and Germany on Friday signalled the beginning of the worst attack on Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings.   Continued...

Fans display the French flag in the stands as France line up for their national anthem before the match. Livepic/Reuters/Darren Staples