Charlie Hebdo attack: French sporting stars pay tribute to dead

Bafetimbi Gomis
Former St Etienne and Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis has won 12 caps for the French national team

French sporting stars across the world have paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in the Paris area.

Seventeen people were killed across three days after attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers and a kosher supermarket.

Several Premier League footballers wore black armbands in honour of the dead, while Swansea's French striker Bafetimbi Gomis, 29, displayed a Tricolour flag after helping his team score against West Ham.

"He is very passionate about his country and where he is from," said Swansea manager Garry Monk. "That showed in his celebration and why he got the flag."

A minute's silence was held before each match in the top two tiers of the French football league, rugby union's Top 14 and the domestic basketball league.

Supportive messages were also shown by French competitors in skiing, biathlon and basketball events.

Football

Roma's French coach Rudi Garcia left a pencil on every journalist's chair for his news conference ahead of Sunday's derby against Italian rivals Lazio.

"I'm French and in mourning," said the ex-Lille coach, 50. "I want to express my solidarity to my country. We all have to be together at this time.

"What happened in Paris was an attack on freedom. But things mustn't change, this freedom should last forever. After the tragedy in Paris, we're all Charlie."

Pencils on seats
Roma coach Rudi Garcia handed out pencils to journalists so they could pen tributes
'Je suis Charlie' on scoreboard at Montpellier v Marseille
'Je suis Charlie' was displayed on the scoreboard at Montpellier v Marseille in Friday's Ligue 1 game
Montpellier players wear supportive T-shirts
Montpellier players wore supportive T-shirts during their warm-up
Guingamp fans held up signs in solidarity
Guingamp fans held up signs in solidarity before Saturday's home match against Lens
Reims and St Etienne players stood in a circle as they observed a minute of silence in tribute to the victims
Reims and St Etienne players stood in a circle as they observed a minute of silence
Real Madrid
A minute's silence was held before the Spanish league game between Real Madrid and Espanyol on Saturday
Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho
Liverpool's France defender Mamadou Sakho was among several Premier League players wearing black armbands

Rugby union

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal, with Racing Metro counterpart Jacky Lorenzetti stood alongside him, spoke to the crowd before asking for a minute's silence ahead of Saturday's Top 14 match.

Comic book magnate Boudjellal had edited the early works of Stephane Charbonnier and Bernard Verlhac, two of the cartoonists killed at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.

Supporters held up pieces of paper with 'Nous Sommes Tous Charlie' (We Are All Charlie) printed on them as the teams walked out, while 'Je Suis Charlie' could be seen on the big screen.

A minute's applause was followed by a rendition of the French national anthem 'La Marseillaise' as the teams prepared for kick-off.

Je suis Charlie
Toulon and Racing Metro players stood together in solidarity ahead of their Top 14 rugby union match
Je suis Charlie
Both sets of players wore T-shirts displaying the words 'Nous sommes tous Charlie' - 'we are all Charlie' - to show their support
Toulouse centre Yann David and his team wore T-shirts saying 'We are all Charlie' in French
Toulouse centre Yann David and his team-mates also wore the T-shirts ahead of their match against La Rochelle
Bayonne fans also had a banner in tribute to the dead
Bayonne fans also had a banner in tribute to the dead as their team played Lyon

Other sports

Frenchman Alexis Pinturault pointed to the words 'Je suis Charlie' written on his helmet when he moved into the lead at the World Cup giant slalom event in Adelboden, Switzerland.

The 23-year-old, who eventually finished second, was one of several French racers to have the words on his helmet.

"For me it was important to show my solidarity," said the Olympic bronze medallist.

"It's a little bit complicated to understand everything, but this could happen in Switzerland one day. You never know when this attack will happen."

Alexis Pinturault
Alexis Pinturault also held up a supportive message on the podium
Steve Missillier
French skier Steve Missillier was another racer who wore 'Je suis Charlie' on his helmet
Je suis Charlie
A message read 'Je suis Charlie' during the individual Gundersen of the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup in France
Biathletes Simon Fourcade, Jean Guillaume Beatrix, Simon Desthieux and Quentin Fillon Maillet of France hold up a sign during the award ceremony following the Biathlon World Cup 4 x 7.5 km men's relay competition in Germany
French biathletes Simon Fourcade, Jean Guillaume Beatrix, Simon Desthieux and Quentin Fillon Maillet held up a sign during the award ceremony following the Biathlon World Cup 4 x 7.5km men's relay competition in Germany
Washington Wizards centre Kevin Seraphin
Washington Wizards's French centre Kevin Seraphin wore a supportive T-shirt in the warm-up for Friday's game with Chicago Bulls

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