Rooney offers condolences to Paris victims



England captain Wayne Rooney expressed his condolences on Monday in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday that left 129 people dead and over 300 injured.

“On behalf of the players we’d like to give our condolences,” Rooney told a press conference at England’s team hotel in Watford, north of London, ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against France at Wembley.

“It’s an incredibly sad time, with a lot of people losing their lives.”

Rooney said that he had spoken to some of his Manchester United team-mates involved in Friday’s friendly between France and Germany at the Stade de France in Paris, which coincided with three suicide bomb attacks outside the ground.

He will lead his team out at Wembley on Tuesday, for a game that will be preceded by a minute’s silence and what is expected to be an emotional rendition of the French national anthem, ‘La Marseillaise’.

The Football Association will broadcast the words to the anthem on the stadium’s display screens and England’s fans have been urged to join in.

“You’d need to be a French-speaker to sing along, but I’d encourage all the French-speakers in the public to do so,” England manager Roy Hodgson said.

“The fact we’re publicising the Marseillaise on the big screen shows how we feel.”

England’s players and coaching staff had earlier observed a minute’s silence prior to their pre-match training session at the Tottenham Hotspur training ground in north London.

France’s squad arrived in London on Monday morning.

France coach Didier Deschamps was due to speak to the media for the first time since the attacks later on Monday at Wembley before his squad’s training session at the ground.

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