As another terrorist plot was narrowly foiled at the abandoned friendly between Germany and the Netherlands, Wembley honored the victims of last week’s attack in Paris before the match between England and France.
The English stadium illuminated with the colors of the French flag, fans of the two teams were unified in their defiant joy, eager to show that their way of life would not be shackled by evil.
Inside Wembley, wreathes were laid in tribute by Didier Deschamps, Roy Hodgson, and Prince William before La Marseillaise was sung by everyone, regardless of nationality. Lassana Diarra, whose cousin was killed in the attack, solemnly bowed his head.
Special moment as Wembley unites to sing the French national anthem. pic.twitter.com/qur21bVxQV
— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) November 17, 2015
The players from both teams then posed together for photos and stood around the center circle for a well observed moment’s silence.
And then the match began. But instead of the usual football chants and songs, La Marseillaise continued to ring out, demonstrating that this is a game expressing unity and love instead of footballing divisions.