News is coming in by the minute that there have been shootings in Paris as well as three explosions just outside the Stade de France while France and Germany were having their friendly in an apparent organized terrorist attack. France President Francois Hollande was at the game and was safely evacuated while the game continued as normal.
While some will question the decision to keep the game going and act as if nothing happened, it really is the best decision to keep playing. Unless something happens inside the stadium, it doesn’t make sense to stop a game and 81,000 people leave into a potentially dangerous war zone.
Current reports from The Guardian and BBC have at least 35 people dead (although French police report more) after various attacks including a shootout outside a restaurant and at a bar near the Stade de France. There was also a shooting at a concert hall called the Bataclan and is now the location of over 100 people being taken hostage according to French police. The BBC has a map of Paris showing where these attacks have taken place.
The explosions outside the stadium were clearly heard inside the stadium and on the TV broadcast as you can see here.
There will be more information coming in as well but this will no doubt worry those within UEFA since France hosts the Euro 2016 tournament next year. It’s safe to say that this was an organized terrorist attack meant to target large groups. There is no doubt France will still be hosting the tournament but UEFA really needs to meet with the French government to make sure they are doing everything they can to make the stadiums and cities in which games are taking place, safe.
We wil update as we learn more. Our thoughts go to those in Paris.
UPDATE 5:43 PM ET: There now appears to be a fourth attack at Les Halles, a busy shopping center filled with restaurants right in the middle of Paris and near one of their biggest Metro stations.
UPDATE 5:58 PM ET: French President Hollande announces a state of emergency throughout France where the streets and borders are closed.
UPDATE 6:12 PM ET: French Football President Noel Le Graet confirms that three people have been killed and more injured in a suicide attack outside the stadium.
UPDATE 7:00 PM ET: Reuters reports that the police operation at the Bataclan has ended and two attackers were killed.
UPDATE 7:25 PM ET: Police at the Bataclan report that as many as 100 people have been killed.