Alan Shearer has taken the opportunity today in his Sun column to condemn the terrible terrorist attack by ISIL in Paris late on Friday night when 129 people were killed and almost 100 were left critically injured as the world watched via television coverage.
Alan happened to be in the same area on Thursday as he was doing some work with Zinedine Zidane and interviewing the former french great for Football Focus.
Alan Shearer – appropriate and fighting words
This is some of that Alan has written in his Sun column today:
I was watching the England game on Friday night in a pub in Newcastle when the horrific news started to filter through about what had happened in Paris. But a chill went down my spine when I realised that just 24 hours earlier I had been in the same area enjoying a meal in a small French restaurant.
It was very close to where the atrocities took place the following night. I felt a real sense of – it could have been me. It is horrendous what has happened and my heart goes out to all those people, who like myself and three others, had just gone out for an enjoyable few hours in a lovely part of a great city.
It never passed my mind for one second that this would be a dangerous area to be and what horror would visit that area just 24 hours later. Earlier I had been at an arena near the Stade de France doing an interview for Football Focus with Zinedine Zidane about French football, the 1998 World Cup and next summer’s Euros in that country.
He spoke to me about how the World Cup there in 1998 had brought French people from so many different backgrounds together. It is even more important now that Euro 2016 does that again and shows a united front in the face of these terrorists.
More immediately the French football authorities want the friendly game with England tomorrow at Wembley to go ahead, so it is right that it does. It shows a defiant stance in the face of terror. But how any of those French players will be able to concentrate on football I do not know.
It is no longer about the result or performance but about the football community coming together at Wembley to show a united front. Tomorrow against France will not be about making evaluations on England. It is bigger than that.
I’m not sure if the fans who will fill the stadium once again will really be able to enjoy it. Of all the separate horrifying incidents of Friday night, the thought of what could have happened had the suicide bombers got in the Stade de France will shake everyone who has been at a major game.
Indeed it will make everyone nervous going into any game for the foreseeable future, and understandably so. Tomorrow night, though, at Wembley — the home of football — we will show that these thugs will not intimidate us and the people of France will see that the English game stands with them.
All 23 France players will travel to England today after turning down the option to withdraw from Tuesday’s friendly at Wembley following the Paris attacks in what is a show of solidarity from the French footballers.