Lassana Diarra, a midfielder for France who played in the match at the Stade De France on Friday evening that three suicide bombers tried to enter, has revealed that his cousin died in one of the other terrorist attacks that rocked Paris.
Diarra was on the field when his cousin was killed in one of the six separate, but connected, terrorist attacks in the French capital.
Lassana Diarra, who currently plays for the Ligue 1 side Marseille, but previously played for Chelsea, Arsenal, and Portsmouth in the Premier League as well as La Liga’s Real Madrid, took to Twitter on Saturday evening to confirm that his cousin Asta Diakite had been murdered in this brutal terrorist display.
— Lass Diarra (@Lass_Officiel) November 14, 2015
Lassa Diarra’s Tweet read, “Following the dramatic events yesterday in Paris and Saint Denis, it is with a heavy heart that I heard this news today. As you may have read, I was touched personally by the attacks.
“My cousin, Asta Diakite, was among the victims of one of the shootings yesterday, along with hundreds of other innocent French people. She was like a big sister to me.
“In this climate of terror, it is important for all of us who represent our country and its diversity to stay united against a horror which has no colour, no religion. Stand together for love, respect and peace.
“Thank you all for your messages, take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and may the victims rest in peace.”
30-year-old Lassana Diarra started the match for France against Germany, and was eventually substituted by manager Didier Deschamps in the 80th minute for Manchester United’s Morgan Schneiderlin.
France went on to beat the current world champions, who won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, 2-0, with goals from Olivier Giroud and Andre-Pierre Gignac. However, the result was quickly forgotten as news of the terrorist attacks in Paris began to filter through.
French midfielder Antoine Griezmann, who plays his domestic football in Spain for Atletico Madrid, also revealed after the match that his sister had narrowly escaped the Paris terrorist, having attended the Eagle Of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan theatre which was devastated by suicide bombers.
Like Diarra, Antoine Griezmann was playing for France in the friendly game against Germany at the Stade De France. The winger took to Twitter after the match to write,
Grâce à Dieu ma soeur a pu sortir du Bataclan. Toutes mes prières vont aux victimes et leurs familles. #ViveLaFrance
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) November 14, 2015
Griezmann’s post, translated, read, “My thoughts are with the victims of the attacks. May God take care of my sister and the people of France. Thank God my sister was able to get out of the Bataclan. All my prayers are with the victims and their families.”
Three suicide bombers detonated their devices outside of the Stade De France on Friday evening, which resulted in the death of one person. It has since been revealed that at least one of these suicide bombers tried to enter the ground, only for a security guard to find his explosive vest during a pat-down.
So far, 129 victims have been confirmed dead in the six separate, but connected, Paris terrorist attacks. This has now led to worries over the safety of visiting fans to Euro 2016, which will be held next summer across France.
Jacques Lambert, who is the head of the Euro 2016 organizing committee, looked to try and quash these concerns.
He said after these attacks, via the Daily Mail, “Right now we don’t have any particular information that the Euro could be a target. We’ve known for months that there was a maximal risk (in France). It’s a country that is targeted but if you hit a mediatised event, that has more impact.”
Lambert continued, “The terrorist risk, ever since we presented our candidacy, has been considered a key risk. My main worry is to offer maximum level of security. If that means implementing less ‘friendly’ measures, so be it. What matters to me is that the people go home safe and healthy.”
[Image via Getty/Adam Pretty]