Martin Glenn: We must stand together and show solidarity

Monday 16 Nov 2015
FA Chief Executive Officer Martin Glenn

FA CEO Martin Glenn has urged England supporters to use Tuesday night's friendly with France as a show of solidarity.

On Friday night 129 people lost their lives in Paris and hundreds more were injured following a series of terrorist attacks, including outside the Stade de France where Didier Deschamps' team were playing host to Germany.

But, after discussions between The FA and the French Football Federation, as well as the government and Metropolitan Police, it was agreed the match should go ahead.

England v France

Breast Cancer Care International
8pm, Tuesday 17 November 2015
Wembley Stadium connected by EE

The Wembley Arch will be lit up in the colours of the French flag, and those colours will also be displayed pre-match inside the stadium by supporters. 

The words of the French national anthem - La Marseillaise - will be shown on the big screen with fans encouraged to join in. 

"The match really starts at 7.55pm not 8pm, because we want to spend five minutes on very important ways of demonstrating solidarity with the French," said Glenn.

"We will all be trying to sing La Marseillaise, we will be putting the words up. I think that will be a powerful thing and we will be doing the Tricolore effect with seat posters, so things will be different. 

"The people that advise us are absolutely clear there's no material change in risk. But we would like fans to turn up a bit earlier because we are going to do a few more checks. 

Watch: Hodgson, Glenn and Rooney speak to the press

"There will be a greater physical police presence around the area and there has been over the weekend. There will probably be a slower entrance procedure to get in, so I really encourage fans to get there that little bit earlier, allow a little more time to travel.

"The whole thing is horrible. We learnt about it in Alicante after the match, the game ended in Spain and it started to unravel. 

"The scale of it is awful, that affects people in different ways, but we thought 'what would we want to do?' When London has been hit by terror you get that spirit that we must hang together and demonstrate solidarity and we assumed that's exactly how the French would feel, so I wasn't surprised they wanted to play." 

England captain Wayne Rooney, whose club team-mates Anthony Martial and Bastian Schweinsteiger started Friday night's game in Paris, has vowed to give Tuesday's occasion the respect it deserves.

"On behalf of the players we would like to give our condolences, it is an incredibly said time," said the 30-year-old 

Wayne Rooney, Roy Hodgson and Martin Glenn

FA CEO Martin Glenn joined Rooney and Hodgson at their pre-match press conference

"I had team-mates from my club in both teams [France and Germany] and I spoke to them after it happened. It's hard for everyone. 

"We have to try and be as respectful as we can. There is a football match, it will be tough for the French players, but it will be a chance for them to do the country proud. 

"They will do all they can to make France proud and we will show our respect. 

"Football does a lot for the world and shows the world as one. Football has the power to do that.

"The world of football has to stay strong together and I'm sure we will do that and deal with the situation the best we can. I'm sure football will help a lot and bring people together." 

Manager Roy Hodgson admitted that football felt a little inconsequential given the circumstances, but believes staging the game shows the powerful positive effect football can have, even in the face of such adversity.

"Any opportunity the world of football has to do good should be taken, because it affects a lot of people's lives," he said. 

The Wembley Arch is lit with Le Tricolore

The Wembley Arch is lit with Le Tricolore

"France wanted the game to go ahead, so it was very easy to go along with that. We'll do our best to make a good game of it, but we can't deny the seriousness of the occasion.

"We can't deny the fact this game is special, it's not a normal friendly, because it is occurring only days after this unbelievable terror attack.

"We cannot deny there is something hanging over this game greater than a football result.

"I can't imagine how this game is going to go and what sort of football is going to be played because I've never been in this situation before. We will prepare and try and play the best game we can play.

"We will do our best on the football field and I'm sure these young players will get great experience and won't let the country down.

"But this is about us showing solidarity rather than what necessarily happens on the field."

By FA Staff