By Henry D Gombya
France and England will on Tuesday send out a defiant message to the terrorist group ISIS when their friendly game in preparation for next year’s European Nations Cup Finals takes place as scheduled after another friendly game between France and Germany was brought to an abrupt end when the group attacked France’s main national stadium, Stade de France Friday leaving three people dead at the scene during an attack in several Parisian places that claimed at least 128 people, leaving several hundreds injured.
A statement released Saturday by the English Football Association said: “Following the tragic events in Paris, the FA has this morning held discussions with our French counterpart. First and foremost we passed on our deepest condolences to those involved in these truly awful incidents. The thoughts of everyone at the FA, our manager Roy Hodgson, his players and our supporters are with the French nation.
During the conversation, the Fédération Française de Football [FFF] made it clear that they still wish to play against us on Tuesday night at Wembley Stadium. In solidarity with the FFF we fully respect and support this decision for the fixture to go ahead. Furthermore, we have liaised extensively with, and taken advice from government and the relevant authorities, who are also in support of the decision to fulfil the fixture.”
The attack at Stade de France on Friday kicked off a spate of attacks in different parts of the country. French President François Hollande who was attending this match was hurriedly escorted away from the stadium the moment the bomb went off and ended declaring a national state of emergency in France for the first time since 1944. France was this weekend seriously considering its failure for the third time this year to prevent armed insurgents roaming the country.
This year alone, France has seen three incidents in which terrorists aligned to ISIS have appeared in the French capital armed with AK-47 Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifles. The first was in January when two brothers of Algerian origin attacked the offices of a satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, killing most of its editorial staff before ending their attack elsewhere in Paris in which the lives of three police officers and a number of other civilians were taken before French Special Forces ended the standoff. Another gunman held hostages at a supermarket where he killed some before he was also killed by French Special Forces.