Paris Violence Overshadows Soccer Game Between France, Germany
On a night of terrifying violence in Paris with two explosions going off outside the stadium, France beat Germany 2-0 Friday in a game overshadowed by the events around the city.
The explosions could be heard inside the Stade de France as they went off nearby in the first half. Police said dozens have been killed in shootings and explosions around Paris, but the match was not halted.
French President Francois Hollande, who was in the stadium, was evacuated and immediately held an emergency meeting.
"We're all shaken and shocked," Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "For me personally, the game and the sport loses importance. We're at a loss. We don't know what to do."
The German team, which was evacuated from its hotel in western Paris on Friday morning following a bomb scare, remained in the stadium.
Olivier Giroud and substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac scored a goal each in the friendly match.
Fans also remained inside the stadium after the final whistle, then went on the field as news of the violence spread and the sound of wailing sirens could be heard outside. The stadium announcer told fans which exits to use, but more and more walked onto the grass, reluctant to go outside as news poured in of a shocking night of violence.
More than 30 minutes after the game, there were about 2,000 fans on the field as the stadium announcer reassured them that it was safe to leave and use public transport as usual, and directed them to exit gates. The atmosphere was calm but they were slow to filter out.
In the morning, the German team was evacuated from its hotel following a bomb scare, spending a few hours down the road at Roland Garros, the home of the French Open.
In what might have been a chilling coincidence, two loud explosions were heard outside Stade de France just minutes apart midway through the first half, followed by the sounds of wailing police sirens.
The atmosphere during the match was increasingly muted and a sickening feeling seemed to have already gripped the fans.