France attacks: Sporting fixtures postponed after attacks

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Blast heard during Paris football match

Several sporting fixtures in France have been postponed after a series of attacks across Paris in which 129 people were killed.

Three suicide bombers died in blasts outside the Stade de France while France played Germany on Friday.

With fans unable to leave, many poured on to the pitch, while both national teams spent the night in the stadium.

All European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches set to be played in France this weekend are off.

However, the French Football Federation (FFF) said Tuesday's international friendly against England at Wembley would go ahead following three days of national mourning.

England's Under-20s game against France in Brittany on Saturday was called off, with the youth team "returning to England early under care of the FA", the English Football Association said.

The postponed European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures include Glasgow Warriors' match against Racing 92 on Saturday, due to be held in the outskirts of Paris, and Bath's trip to Toulon on Sunday.

Saturday's two Challenge Cup matches in England involving French sides will go ahead. Worcester Warriors host La Rochelle, while London Irish take on Agen.

Tributes have been paid to the victims of the attacks at sporting fixtures around the world.

French sporting fixtures postponed
Rugby Union: Racing 92 v Glasgow, Oyonnax v Ulster, Pau v Castres Olympique, Bordeaux-Begles v ASM Clermont Auvergne, RC Toulon v Bath (no Top 14 fixtures scheduled)
Football: Four Coupe de France matches, plus youth and women's games (no Ligue 1 matches scheduled)
Volleyball: Two Ligue A matches, four women's first division games
Handball: One Division One match
Taekwondo: Paris international tournament, which includes four Britons competing
Ice Skating: SU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Bordeaux

Players slept in stadium

French President Francois Hollande was at Friday's game at the Stade de France but left before declaring a state of emergency.

France's Lassana Diarra, who was playing in the match, confirmed on Saturday that a female cousin was one of the victims.

At the end of the game, which France won 2-0, players watched the news unfolding on monitors inside the tunnel.

The French players then refused to return to their homes as a show of solidarity with their German opponents, who were taken to the airport on Saturday rather than returning to their hotel.

They had earlier been evacuated from their accommodation following a bomb threat. They have since cancelled their Sunday flight to Hannover, where they will play Netherlands on Tuesday.

Noel le Graet, president of the French Football Federation, said the organisation shared "the grief of the bereaved families and relatives".

A planned news conference on Saturday involving the France national team was cancelled.

"We are all in shock," said Germany head coach Joachim Low.

"The game and the goals move into the background on a day like this. All of us on the bench were a bit scared."

Martin Roschitz, of NDR Radio in Germany:
"After the match the players came up into the tunnel and expected us to interview them, but we had no questions and we were all sad and deeply shocked about the circumstances.
"The players didn't realise what had happened and in the end [Germany general manager] Oliver Bierhoff informed the players and then they tried to phone their relatives and friends.
"They slept in the stadium because it was too risky to go to the team hotel. There was a bomb warning the day before and they didn't feel safe in the hotel, so they decided to stay in the stadium with the French team."
Click here to listen to Martin Roschitz

Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko, one of France's substitutes, said: "There are no words to express what I feel today... All my thoughts to all the victims' families and friends."

Former France international Thierry Henry added: "I'm appalled by the shocking scenes in Paris at the moment. My thoughts are with all the victims and innocent people suffering right now."

The FA said: "We send our deep condolences to the victims of the Paris attacks. This is clearly a very serious and tragic matter."

Live updates from BBC News

Fans came onto the pitch after full-time
Fans walked onto the Stade de France pitch after full-time

Uefa said European international fixtures over the next few days would be preceded by a minute's silence, while teams will wear black armbands.

A minute's silence will also be held before this weekend's Football League matches in England.

A spokesman for Glasgow Warriors, who were due to face Racing 92 at Stade Yves-du-Manoir on Saturday, said their players were "all safe in our team hotel on the outskirts of Paris".

The club are making arrangements to fly back to the United Kingdom after any chance of the game being put back 24 hours was ruled out.

Sporting world pays tribute

Former England captain David Beckham paid a heartfelt tribute on Saturday after playing in his charity match at Old Trafford.

"We all pass on our condolences to the people who have lost loved ones in France. I've got so much love for Paris. I played my 100th game there from England and finished my career at PSG (Paris St Germain)," he said.

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale was among those from the football world who posted messages on social media. The Wales international wrote: "Stand tall. Stay strong Paris."

French former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo, now Andy Murray's coach, posted: "Really shocked and disgusted. No words to describe these horrors."

Jamaica's Olympic and world sprint champion Usain Bolt simply said: "#PrayersForParis."

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton said to his followers: "I am praying for all those affected in Paris, please pray with me guys."

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker said: "It's just incomprehensible that human beings can be so evil to innocent, fellow human beings. What a mess of a species we are!"

Meanwhile, Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, said it was planning a ceremony before the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday as a tribute to the victims of the attacks.

Anthony Martial tweet
Manchester United and France forward Anthony Martial, who played against Germany, tweeted this message after the game
Andre Schurrle
Andre Schurrle was one of Germany's substitutes for the game at the Stade de France
France fans
France's next scheduled fixture is a friendly against England on Tuesday, but L'Equipe is reporting that game will be postponed
Fans at the Stade de France
Fans make their way to the pitch after the game at the Stade de France
Police outside the Stade de France
Police outside the Stade de France
Stade de France
Fans wait for security clearance to leave the Stade de France

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