Paris attacks: France squad stay with Germans in dressing rooms until 3am in show of solidarity as Lassana Diarra reveals his cousin was killed

Antoine Greizmann's sister escaped the siege at the Bataclan theatre along with French yachtsman Marc Thiercelin

Simon Hart
Saturday 14 November 2015 20:02 GMT
France and Germany players line up in the Stade de France before kick-off
France and Germany players line up in the Stade de France before kick-off (Getty Images)

Lassana Diarra, the former Arsenal midfielder, has revealed in a tweet that his cousin was killed during the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night.

Diarra, who plays for Marseilles, was playing for France when the attacks took place in their 2-0 victory over Germany at the Stade de France.

The sister of Antoine Griezmann, who was also in the France team, was at the Bataclan concert venue where at least 80 people were killed but she managed to escape. The Atletico Madrid winger, tweeted: “Thanks to God my sister was able to get out of the Bataclan. All my prayers go to the victims and their families.” Another survivor of the Bataclan attack was the French yachtsman Marc Thiercelin, a veteran of several Vendée Globe races.

In a remarkable display of unity the French players, who learned of the events after the match when they saw the news reports on television monitors in the corridor at the stadium, stayed behind in Germany’s dressing room after the game. The Germans, who had been forced out of their hotel during the morning by a bomb threat, did not feel safe enough to leave the stadium. The French kept them company until 3am in an act of solidarity. The German squad flew back to Frankfurt on Saturday morning.

Oliver Bierhoff, the Germany team manager, said: “We wanted to avoid any risks and decided not to cross Paris.”

Joachim Low, the Germany coach, said: “We are all in shock. We were told in the changing rooms what had happened. All of us on the bench were a bit scared because of a bomb threat earlier when we spent three hours outside [our hotel].”

During the match, the ground was shaken by blasts as three suicide bombers and a civilian died outside the ground.

The front page of L’Équipe, the French sports daily, said it all yesterday. “L’Horreur” – The Horror – was the newspaper’s single-word headline, written in white letters on a black front page, as the world of sport sought a response to the attacks.

Eight Premier League-based players appeared in Friday’s match in which Olivier Giroud, the Arsenal striker, scored the first goal. Moussa Sissoko, the Newcastle midfielder, was a France substitute. He said: “There are no words to express what I feel today... All my thoughts to all the victim’s family and friends.”

Paris Attack VT - LL

Another Premier League footballer, the Crystal Palace defender Martin Kelly, was also in Paris on Friday night and posted an Instagram picture of himself at a café close to the site of the attacks on restaurants. Palace confirmed he was safe.

Countless sportsmen and women from around the world tweeted their sympathies to those affected by the attack.

Uefa, European football’s governing body, expressed its solidarity with France after “these horrific acts”. It said all teams playing in European internationals this week would wear black armbands, and there would be a minute’s silence before kick-off. There was one minute’s silence before all Football League games.

The International Olympic Committee flew its flag at half mast on its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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