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Wembley welcomes France and England friendly on a night where football was irrelevant

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A match, whom everyone thought would be cancelled due to the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night, has turned out to be an occasion that demonstrated solidarity.

Players In Solidarity Before Kick Off
French & English players in solidarity

The French Football Federation decided the match would go ahead, and The FA backed the decision to have the game played.

France would be welcomed at Wembley in a spirit of fraternity and defiance as an act to stand up to terrorism.

Tricolore Gesture
Wembley tricolore tribute

 

Although France manager Didier Deschamps had offered his players the chance to pull out of the squad before they travelled to London because of the circumstances.

French Football Players Arrival In London
French team arrive in London

Leading up to the game England manager Roy Hodgson said, The match will be a serious occasion but one that shows that the football world is united against these atrocities.”

Security has been increased in the wake of the Paris attacks, as the Metropolitan Police don’t want to see repeat scenes from Friday happening tonight.

Met’s Specialist Crime and Operations Deputy Assistant Commander Peter Terry said, “we’ve reassessed what security we think we need for tonight’s occasion, especially considering who we’re playing. We’ve assessed what happened in France and we’ve changed what the appearance of what the security will look like tonight.”

Heightened Security At Wembley
Security being increased at Wembley Stadium

In a change of protocol, the away team’s national anthem was sung after England’s ‘God Save The Queen’.

Over 70,000 people roared out ‘La Marseillaise’ as a tribute to the 129 victims of Friday’s attacks, England fans in the east side of Wembley held up cards which formed the French Tricolore.

French Tribute At Wembley
French flag tribute in the east stand of Wembley

 

England was victorious winning 2-0.

France’s captain, Hugo Lloris, thanked England’s fans for their support but admitted the French team found it hard to concentrate.

“All of this has been very hard, but we played the match for our country and for the victims. Tonight was a moment of national unity,” said Lloris.

French Players Preparation
French players escorted around Wembley with armed police

 

The result was always going to be meaningless but the occasion couldn’t have been any different and will live in the memory for everyone who watched and attended the match.

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Indian Prime Minister Modi Greeted By Protesters At Wembley On His UK Visit

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After being banned from entering the UK for 10 years, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a red carpet welcome from the British government and Indian diaspora on Thursday as he began a three-day state visit to the country.

David Cameron Introduction Speech At Wembley
Prime Minister David Cameron introducing Narendra Modi

However Modi’s visit wasn’t welcomed by everyone, and after the ceremony at Wembley stadium had finished, he and all his supporters were greeted by protesters who represented Indian minorities.

Modi Not Welcome In the UK By Protesters
Kashmiri people protesting for their human rights

There were more than 700 protesters from Kashmiri, Sikh and Indian Muslim backgrounds who gathered outside the stadium.

“We are at this demonstration today to protest against Modi and the Indian government for their illegal occupation of Kashmir and the massacre of our people,” said Najib Afsar, the chief coordinator for Jammu Kashmir Liberation Council.

Police Supervising Protesters Outside Wembley
Protesters against Modi’s visit to the UK outside Wembley

The Awaaz Network is an alliance of organisations involved in the #ModiNotWelcome campaign.

Indian Muslim Federation, Castle Watch UK, Southall Black Sisters and Sikh Federation UK are groups included in this allegiance.

“This visit is one-hundred-per-cent all about trade, the event speaks for itself. He was banned from most of the west for 10 years and now he’s getting a royal air force display which says it all.” Said Jasveer Singh of the Sikh Press Association.

Sikh Lives Matter
Sikh’s protesting for minorities in India

Over 60,000 people attended the invitation only event and it’s the largest reception any foreign head of government has ever received in the UK.

Prime Minister Modi Addressing the Crowd
Indian Prime Minister Modi addressing 60,000 people at Wembley

Virendra Sharma MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on India-UK Relations, “the Uk’s 1.5 million India diaspora are an excellent bridge between the UK and India. As a person of Indian origin, I am hugely looking forward to this defining moment where we can celebrate our democracies and shared values.”

Both Modi supporters and protesters waved flags on the night but the symbols on them and the occasion couldn’t of been anymore different for what they represented.

India & UK Children Unite
English & Indian school children waving flags at the event

London and Manchester music scene – compared

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Music scene in London
Music scene in Brixton, London

I am a southerner and I will make no qualms in telling you this straight away, so expect there to be some bias when comparing southern and northern towns and cities!

Two of the most iconic cities in the UK are London and Manchester. Other than this, you won’t get much more in common, except for the status both cities respectively hold when talking music.

LONDON. The bravura capital is widely regarded as the place to go to start your music career and become very wealthy (according to some northerners). However, realistically it is just as hard as anywhere else in the UK but if you’re good, you have more opportunities to get yourself noticed. The vibe for music in the capital is a mix of Hip-Hop, Rap, Dubstep and Drum N Bass.

Manchester i.e. the headquarters for ‘hipsters’. This city contains every branch of the alternative music scene that you could possibly imagine. Some genres included are: Rock, Indie, Heavy Metal, Screamo and many more conceptual sounds. If you want to stand out from the general crowd then Manchester is the scene for you!

Two cities that are run by rhythm and fuelled by beats but separated by 199 miles, it really couldn’t be any more different if you tried.

File:Oasis Liam and Noel.jpg

Image via creative commons – Greg Neate

Image via creative commons – Will Fresch