Germany set for Stade de France return after November attacks

World champions Germany return to the Stade de France on Thursday for their Euro 2016 group match against Poland, aiming to shake off the memories from last November.

Germany played a friendly against France on November 13 when the stadium was one of the targets of the terror attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead, with three suicide bombers blowing themselves up outside of Stade de France.

The team, which also had to leave their hotel in the morning of that match after a bomb threat, stayed in the stadium all night and then went straight to the nearby Charles de Gaulle airport for the return flight.

But the issue continued four days later when a planned friendly against the Netherlands in Hanover was cancelled over a terror threat.

German coaches and players have discussed the November incidents in the aftermath of the attacks, and players said Tuesday they are feeling safe and concentrating on football.

"Right now this is not an issue. We feel safe - we are concentrating on sport," defender Jerome Boateng told a news conference Tuesday at the team's base camp in Evian-Les-Bains.

His centre back partner Shkodran Mustafi agreed, saying "I have other things on my mind than this incident. We feel safe and are focussing on the sporting side. We can't influence anything else."

But goalkeeper Manuel Neuer offered: "You have it in the back of your head."

And coach Joachim Loew told dpa ahead of the tournament he doesn't want to raise the issue all the time.

After all, Germany seek their second win at Euro 2016 after an opening 2-0 against Ukraine to take a big step towards the knock-out stages in a bid to add the Euro title to the World Cup win from 2014. Their final opponent in the group is Noerthen Ireland.

"It is important that we win the second game as well," Boateng said.

Mustafi had a few defensive deficits but also scored the first goal Sunday, and - looking at Loew's formation history - he should be playing again Thursday.

Loew has never changed the starting line-up from the first game of a major event to the second game. He has won all five first games since his Euro 2008 but only one of the four second games to date.

Last update: Tue, 14/06/2016 - 17:13
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