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Football 'a means of escape' for grieving Diarra

20 November 2015, 20:31

Marseille - France midfielder Lassana Diarra has told his club coach at Marseille that he has no intention of putting his career on hold despite being hit hard by last week's terror attacks in Paris.

Diarra was playing for France in last Friday's friendly against Germany when three enormous explosions were heard in the vicinity of the Stade de France.

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It soon emerged that the blasts, which killed one person as well as three suicide bombers, were part of a night of terror which cost the lives of 130 people altogether.

Among the dead was Diarra's cousin Asta Diakite, fatally wounded on a street in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital.

Despite that, Diarra travelled with the France squad for Tuesday's friendly with England and appeared from the bench in the 2-0 loss at Wembley.

"We spoke with Lass on Tuesday, when things were calmer, and he said to me he couldn't stop playing football, that it was a means of escape for him," said Marseille coach Michel at a press conference on Friday.

However, former Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid player Diarra did not train on Friday and it is not yet clear if he will feature for his side in Sunday's Ligue 1 trip to Saint-Etienne.

"He was supposed to train with us this morning (Friday) but he couldn't because of family problems. He will come tomorrow. The person is always more important than the player," added Michel.

"When one loses someone dear to them, football, or any other profession, can help you, not to forget, but to move on.

"We must all be there for him, close by, and show him our solidarity," added the Spaniard.

"What happens to our players affects us, the joy as well as the sadness. We prefer to share these feelings.

"It is not easy to train in these conditions. It is not about being disgusted or sad, but we wonder what kind of world we are living in."

The attacks were the worst in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of March 2004.

Michel, a Madrid native, said "nothing was the same again" after the attacks on the Spanish capital.

"In sport there is no colour, religion or race. Often the face of football that is shown is a violent one, but this week at Wembley it was an example of solidarity."



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