England fans thanked for showing solidarity at Wembley contest against France

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French minister for sport Patrick Kanner paid tribute to England fans singing La Marseillaise at Wembley and believes the gesture sent out a powerful message of solidarity.

France and England players mixed together for pre-match photos and then stood around the centre circle as a minute's silence was observed in memory of those killed in Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris.

The tributes came after English supporters had joined in the French national anthem, singing along to words displayed on the big screens, while one end of the stadium held up cards to form the colours of the French flag.

England won the friendly 2-0, with Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney both on the scoresheet, but the real victors were the French players, who managed a determined performance just four days after the horrific events last week.

"It was an unbelievable show of support from our English friends," Kanner said.

"There were French colours all over Wembley, and it was unbelievable to hear the Marseillaise all round the stadium, sung by 90,000 people.

"Me, when I sung those words with Prince William and David Cameron, I was thinking about all of the young people massacred in our own country last week.

"But we have to say that life goes on, we keep our heads up and tonight we were able to find our pride again.

"We have shown we have the determination to put the cause of our society above all else."

Many England fans were seen wearing T-shirts with messages of support while Wembley's iconic arch was lit up in red, white and blue, with France's national motto 'Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite' displayed across the top of the entrance.

"We would like to thank everyone for their statements and their actions of solidarity," France manager Didier Deschamps said.

"We feel very grateful because not just the people at Wembley, but the whole nation has supported us.

"We have had this outpouring of communal grief and it has been good for us."

Deschamps admitted he and his players were particularly affected by a thunderous rendition of La Marseillaise before kick-off.

"We felt very, very strong emotions, powerful emotions," Deschamps added. "Everyone has their own way of displaying their emotions but it was certainly a moment where everyone came together.

"It was heart-rending - you felt it deep down in your gut. It was a special, moving, grandiose moment."

While paying tribute to England, Deschamps singled out midfielder Lassana Diarra, who lost his cousin in the terrorist attacks.

Diarra insisted on remaining with the squad and was given a standing ovation when he came on for Yohan Cabaye in the 57th minute.

"I spoke at some length with Lassana and he said all along he would be more than ready to come on and feature if I needed him," Deschamps said.

"I really respected his choice of how he handled himself and carried himself throughout this difficult period, and his presence has been important for us.

"For that reason alone I made the decision that for the last 20 minutes he was going to feature. Because of how he has been with us it was deserved."


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