Roy Hodgson and Wayne Rooney Discuss the Importance of England vs. France Following Paris Attacks

England captain Wayne Rooney and coach Roy Hodgson spoke to the press ahead of England’s friendly against France on Tuesday, joining FA chief executive Martin Glenn in a conference held to address security concerns, along with describing why the match is still going ahead in light of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday evening.

Glenn spoke of how the match will be a good opportunity to showcase England’s solidarity with France, as Wembley Stadium is set to be lit up with the colours of the French flag. “We spoke to the French Federation on Saturday, and were in touch with the French president’s office and there were two conditions to hold the game,” Glenn said, adding: “UK authorities and government need to make sure it was safe and the French wanted to play. They wanted to go ahead, for mainly symbolic reasons, and we were very happy to meet their concerns.”

He continued: “This is going to have massive global significance – the first major event since Friday. It is a chance to demonstrate terrorism can’t win. We can’t afford to let this act of terror cow us.”

Hodgson also stated how “there’s something hanging over which is far, far greater than a football match,” adding: “I’ve never been in a football game like this before.”

Rooney echoed the concerns of supporters who are worried a similar attack will take place during the match on Tuesday, saying: “It’s a sad time and in terms of going on the pitch we can only do that in the understanding that all the security checks have been made and it’s safe to do so. Unless we are told otherwise we are assuming that we are right and ready to play.

“You never know what can happen but we have to assume we are safe on the pitch and hope we don’t have a repeat of what happened on Friday night.”

The FA stated that fans will want to tune into the game at 7.55pm, with them conducting a tribute to those who lost their lives in Paris ahead of the game’s 8pm kick-off. The FA have asked that those with tickets to the game show up to Wembley Stadium earlier as there will be thorough security checks ahead of the match.

Image Credit: Tony Marshall / Getty Images
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