November 13th, 2015: Paris, France.
It was a friendly the French were hosting against the world champions in the Stade De France. 20 minutes into the match, a loud explosion was heard by the viewers on the television. Everyone in the stadium heard it too. 10 minutes later another explosion was heard. The players continued the game, the viewers were watching as one of the darkest nights in the nation’s history was about to begin. The German players didn’t sleep in their hotel, they spent their night in the stadium with the French players on the mattress. The only thing that kept everyone going, that had everyone united for those seconds, was football.
The attacks of 2015 reported 147 as dead. The whole world gave their condolences to them. With the Euros just months away, UEFA was forced to think whether the healing nation of France could take the responsibility of hosting a tournament such as the Euros. The nation’s security was at its tightest and many doubts were raised as to whether the nation could recover from the loss.
The recent reports suggest multiple threats to the nation during the tournament. Many terrorists were confirmed to be in the nation’s capital, where in most of the matches were supposed to be held. Yes, it did scare the police officials. Yes, it did scare the players too. But, each of them knew they were connected to something bigger than themselves. Football.
The semifinal between Germany and France did give every French citizen a chill down their spines. No, it wasn’t the formidable Germans, rather the inhumane who had attacked their cities not even an year ago. The sides met, and this time, France was victorious.
Sports Minister Patrick Kanner was quoted saying, ” Today we can say that it is France who won. Maybe not in the area of sports, but our country won in its capacity to organize the event.”
Reports suggest that had France won the tournament, there would’ve been no victory parade as the threats were too high, and it was already an uphill battle for the police with the tournament going on. The injured nation needed a major morale boost and a European Trophy might’ve lifted spirits. But alas, it just wasn’t meant to be.
It’s a victory for France. They won. They won against terrorism. They won peace. The nation won hearts. The police, officials and public support made sure the nation didn’t bow down to the threat of terrorism. And football was there in their arsenal. The beautiful game gave it’s hand to one of its most loyal sons.
Football brought peace to France.