France won its first game at the Stade de France since last November’s terrorist attacks in Paris in a friendly match with Russia Tuesday evening, which was held under tight security.
Les Bleus squad defeated the Sbornaya 4-2 in an emotional game following last week’s terrorist attacks in Brussels. N’Golo Kante scored in the 8th minute, Andre-Pierre Gignac (38th minute), Dimitri Payet (64th minute) and Kingsley Coman (76th minute) for Les Bleus; Alexander Kokorin (56th minute) and Yuri Zhirkov (68th minute) reduced the difference for the Russians.
French President Francois Hollande attended the match, which opened with a minute of silence in memory of victims of Brussels’ terrorist attacks.
Laurent Simon from the French National Police’s Security Directorate told reporters earlier that 400 police officers will guard the stadium on Tuesday alongside snipers deployed around the venue.
The Stade de France was one of the targets of last November’s Paris attacks which killed 130 and injured 350.
One of the suicide bombers in those attacks tried to enter the stadium during a friendly between France and Germany, but ended up detonating it near the stadium after failing to get in.
Another of the suspected bombers, Salah Abdeslam – who was arrested in Brussels earlier this month – reportedly told police that he had planned to also attack the Stade de France but gave up at the last minute, reported French television channel BFMTV.
“We have to have confidence in the security officials. We have to continue to live and to live our passion together, it’s important,” French keeper Hugo Lloris told a press conference.
France’s national stadium Stade de France, located in the northern commune of Saint-Denis, has the capacity for some 80,000 spectators.
This year’s French League Cup and French Cup finals will be played at the stadium in late April and May.
In addition to the local finals, Europe’s top-tier international football tournament, the UEFA Euro 2016, will be held in France this June and July.