Laurent Koscielny has admitted that France’s game against England was one that he ‘had to play’ after the atrocities in Paris on Friday.
The defender, who was clearly upset before the game, spoke to L’Equipe after the final whistle to explain why the French players all felt they needed to play in the game, a match which was as important in showing that terrorism would not win as it was irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.
Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny said his head was elsewhere tonight. Clearly emotional, and totally understandable. pic.twitter.com/sPc8i6Jf3f
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) November 17, 2015
“This game you had to play,” Kos said. “The decision was made Saturday. We had 48 in Clairefontaine, together, watching TV, on the Internet, doing nothing but speak of the events.
“We have tried to talk, to get rid of these tragedies that happened.
“In the team I am often together with Schneiderlin, Griezmann and Lloris and we tried to clear our heads [by] playing football but it is true that Friday’s attacks were returning all the time.
“Playing is important for everyone, for those who have looked at and for the victims.
“I talked to Gibbs at the end of the game, he told me that they too have spent 48 hours in front of the television to follow current events.
“I know the British, [they] have great respect for the French and we saw this evening.
“The British have experienced this situation many years ago in London, they know what it means.”
It’s not clear if Kos will be selected to play on Saturday against West Brom but it really is yet another thing that is irrelevant at this point.