El Clasico to hold minute of silence for Paris victims


Players and spectators at this weekend’s mammoth clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Spanish capital will hold a minute of silence for victims of the Paris attacks, the Spanish football league said Wednesday.

The so-called El Clasico that pits the two fiercely rival teams against each other attracts on average a global television audience of some 500 million — the world’s most watched club match.

In a statement, La Liga called for the minute of silence “in memory of the victims” at the start of Saturday’s match in the 81,000-strong Madrid stadium.

It has also asked both clubs to broadcast the hashtag #TodosSomosFrancia (“We are all France”) during the moment of silence on screens in the stadium.

“In this way, professional football joins hands with international expressions of condolences and expresses its solidarity with the families and friends of victims.”

The match kicks off Saturday at 1815 local time (1715GMT) with “draconian security measures”, Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said Wednesday, after two high-profile international friendlies were postponed in the wake of the Paris attacks that left 129 dead and over 350 injured.

Germany’s meeting with the Netherlands was called off just hours before kick-off on Tuesday due to a bomb threat in Hanover, whilst Belgium’s friendly against Spain had already been postponed due to the heightened security threat in Brussels.