Thousands of soccer fans were enjoying France’s much-anticipated matchup against rival Germany at the Stade de France in Paris when the deadly attacks began on Friday.
They responded not with anger, but with unity.
Approximately 80,000 people were in the packed stadium when the explosions rang out during the first half of the match, ABC in Australia reported.
As news of the wave of bombings and shootings trickled in via mobile phones, French President Francois Hollande left the stadium, and the building was put into lockdown.
“What the terrorists want is for us to be scared. There is something to be scared about but in the face of terror we have to be united,” Hollande said, per The Sunday Morning Herald.
Police helicopters were circling the stadium by the time the final whistle blew. Although the home team won the match 2-0, fans were unable to celebrate much — or leave the building — until it was clear they could do so safely.
The order to evacuate the stadium was given at around midnight, and the fans entered the exit tunnels in an orderly fashion, The National Post of Canada reported. Despite being startled by the sound of explosions and police sirens, and stunned by news of the attacks, fans waved the French flag and sang “La Marseillaise,” the French national anthem, New England Sports Network reported.
Dans un tunnel de sortie du Stade de France, sortie dans le calme…. Et la Marseillaise. #fier
Posted by Karl Olive on Friday, November 13, 2015
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