PARIS: Eleven doves of peace were released and a minute's silence was impeccably observed before Lorient's home match against Paris Saint-Germain today, in remembrance of the 130 people killed in last week's attacks in Paris.
Thousands of fans waved French tricolor flags inside Le Moustoir stadium and then joined players, match officials and coaching staff alike in a searing rendition of the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise."
With the doves circling above them in the crisp, late-afternoon autumn air, the players formed a line for the minute's silence.
PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic dipped his head in respect, while midfielder Thiago Motta stared ahead solemnly, a look of pain on his face as the 18,000-capacity stadium in Brittany honored the victims of Friday's carnage.
"These are small things compared to the tragic context.
It's our way of paying homage to the victims," Lorient president Loic Fery said. "Everyone's been affected, whether you're young or old. But the show must go on, as the English say."
One banner featured a giant Eiffel Tower, while another read: "La France Souffre Mais Ne Meurt Pas" "France Is Suffering But Not Dying."
Security measures were stepped up in wake of the attacks, which began with explosions outside Stade de France where France was playing Germany and carried on with shootings elsewhere in the city.
Both adults and children were stringently searched entering the stadium, although the atmosphere seemed to be one of calm and cooperation.
There were no away fans at any games this weekend, so as not to stretch France's overworked police forces any further.