Scottish Daily Mail
Fraternité! Fans to sing French anthem
ENGLAND football fans are being urged to join French supporters in singing the country’s national anthem in a show of solidarity over the Paris attacks.
The French Football Federation has defiantly insisted that tomorrow’s friendly fixture between England and France will go ahead at Wembley.
And fans are being encouraged to learn the words to La Marseillaise in support of the French team and 1,400 visiting supporters.
The anthem was composed in 1792, three years after the French Revolution, as a call to mobilise citizens against the threat of foreign invasion.
It gained its title after being sung by volunteers from Marseille marching on the capital. Its lyrics will be displayed on screens at the 90,000-seater venue and the stadium’s giant arch will shine brightly in blue, white and red, the FA confirmed.
The French Tricolour and national motto of ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité’ will also be on screens facing fans as they walk towards the ground.
Both teams will wear black armbands and the match will be preceded by a minute’s silence. It is understood the England squad will also pay tribute. Confirmation of the tributes by the FA follows a campaign led by sport broadcasters.
ITV presenter Mark Pougatch said on Twitter: ‘If you have a ticket for Wembley on Tuesday then it’s time to learn La Marseillaise. Time to show what fraternité is about.’
French journalist Philippe Auclair posted a link to the lyrics to the anthem with the message: ‘France will play at Wembley on Tuesday. Good. To my English friends, if you wish to join us to sing La Marseillaise.’
Counter-terrorism experts have assured the 70,000 fans who are due to descend on Wembley that there is no specific threat to the game.
But security at the stadium will be bolstered with an increased police presence and airport-style security at turnstiles.
Elsewhere in the capital, the fountains in Trafalgar Square were lit up as hundreds gathered in front of the National Gallery, which had projections of the French flag across its facade.
Many waved French flags or held signs with slogans such as ‘London stands with Paris’, and ‘Pray for Paris’.
A candlelit vigil was held as the crowd fell silent at 6.30pm in memory of the victims.
Meanwhile, the London Eye and Tower Bridge were lit up in blue, white and red in tribute.