With prayers and warmhearted messages of condolences being extended to the victims of Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris, Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Frans Mbidi yesterday also joined the rest of the world in paying homage to the people of France.
The bombings and shootings, which took place on Friday near Stade de France in Paris, where the French senior national football team was playing against Germany in an international friendly, killed at least 129 people and left more than 350 severely wounded.
For safety reasons, players from both teams had to spend the night on mattresses in the stadium after the players were advised not to return to their hotels following terror attacks across city.
“It is really a very sad moment for any human being and our hearts goes out to the people of France, the players and the fans. The entire international football family is indeed in deep shock and we highly condemn such acts. Football is there to unite people, promote global peace and development, not to promote such heartless acts,” said Mbidi.
“Thus, on behalf of the NFA, as we are part and parcel of the international football family, I pour my heart out to the people of France and want to say we are together in prayers during this dark moment”
Internationally, FIFA’s Acting President Issa Hayatou also wrote to President of the French Football Federation, Noël Le Graët, following Friday’s tragic incidents. “It is with intense emotion that I write today (Saturday). I am obviously in shock at the terrorist attacks in Paris and around the Stade de France on the sidelines of the match between France and Germany,” he wrote.
“I want to express to you the solidarity of the international football community, especially towards members of the French Football Federation, the France team and all the fans and all the people who were present at the Stade de France on Friday night. I present to the families of the victims my deepest condolences.”
Hayatou also wrote to the German Football Association (DFB) to express his support. Several sporting fixtures in France have been postponed in the aftermath of the attacks across Paris, with European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches set to be played in France over the weekend all called off.