Roma coach: ‘Terrorism won’t stop us’

Roma coach: 'Terrorism won't stop us'
Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP
Defiant Roma coach Rudi Garcia called on the players affected by the Paris attacks not to give in to the terrorists who "attacked all the things we love".

Frenchman Garcia was in attendance at the Stade de France in Paris last week when a suicide bomber blew himself up after being refused entry to the stadium during an international friendly between France and Germany.

The incident was one of several during a night of terror in the French capital that saw 129 people die at several locations, as well as one other person who died of their injuries shortly afterwards.

While Garcia offered condolences to the families of the victims, he called on the players at the club not to let last Friday's events overrule the “pleasure” they glean from playing football as a profession.

Asked how he experienced the night of terror, Garcia said: “Like all the others. I will speak about it now and I won't speak again.

“My first thoughts go the families of the victims. They (terrorists) attacked all the things we love: football matches, concerts, restaurants. These attackers are not even human. I hope we can find a solution to this blind terrorism.”

Roma left-back Lucas Digne, a France international, was one of several players affected by the incidents at the Stade de France. Earlier this week, he weighed the importance of playing football against the stark reality of last week's events.

On Thursday Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed he would rest centre-back Laurent Koscielny on Saturday because recent incidents had “affected him deeply”.

Garcia, who led Lille to the French league and Cup double in 2011 before taking over Roma in 2013, suggested the best way for his players to deal with any emotional fall-out was to focus on the enjoyment of playing football.

“We have to respond (to the attacks) by honouring our profession and looking forward,” Garcia told media on Friday.

“When the players come in here, take off their everyday clothes and put on the club shirt the only thing they should be thinking about is the pleasure of playing football, and to do it in the best way possible. This is something I always tell them.”

Roma, who sit third in Serie A just a point behind leaders Fiorentina, travel to Bologna on Saturday looking to maintain their title push.

Garcia said he had faith in the security measures at football stadiums and said fans and players should not give in to fear.

“Security measures in the stadiums work, at the Stade de France a week ago they worked,” he said. “We have to get on with our lives. The fact France went to play England (after the Germany game on Friday) was a perfect response. “We can't just stop doing all the things we love.”

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