THERE were cheers of support yesterday for a Pompey hero who lost his cousin in the terror attacks.
Lassana Diarra confirmed on social media that his cousin was a victim in the Paris atrocities on Friday.
Diarra, who won the FA Cup with the Blues in 2008 before breaking the club’s record transfer fee received for a player in an £18.88m switch to Real Madrid a year later, took to Twitter to say that Asta Diakite was among those murdered.
Diarra, who now plays for Marseille, was on duty for France’s national side at the Stade de France – the site of another of the attacks – at the time.
Yesterday, Pompey fans showed their backing for the midfielder by cheering for the 30-year-old during the 0-0 draw against AFC Wimbledon at Fratton Park.
Writing online, Diarra said: ‘In the wake of the dramatic events that occurred yesterday in Paris and Saint Denis, it is with a heavy heart that I am writing this today.
‘As you may have read, I have been personally affected by these attacks.
‘My cousin, Asta Diakite, is one of the victims of one of the shootings that have taken place yesterday, like hundreds of other innocent French people. In this climate of terror, it is important for all of us, who are representatives of our country and its diversity, to take the floor and stand united in the face of a horror that has no colour or religion.
‘Together we can defend love, respect and peace.
‘Thank you all for your testimonies and your messages, take care of you and yours, and may our victims rest in peace.’
All 23 members of the France squad – including Diarra – will fly to England for tomorrow’s friendly at Wembley, an official from the French football federation has said.
For Tuesday’s friendly, the Wembley Arch will be lit up in the colours of the French flag and screens will show the French motto ‘Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite’.