Minute silence before France-Sweden to be held

UEFA has announced that there will be a minute silence before France's Group D match against Sweden on Tuesday in tribute to commentator Thierry Roland, who died on Saturday aged 74.


Roland was France's most popular sports broadcaster with a career that spanned six decades, during which time he covered 13 World Cups, nine European Championships and several Olympic Games.

He was scheduled to cover this summer's tournament in Poland and Ukraine for French broadcaster M6, but his ill health ultimately prohibited him from making the journey.

"Informed by his family, M6 has the immense sadness to announce the death of Thierry Roland. The channel transmits its enormous affection and condolences to his widow Francoise and his son Gary," M6 communications director Yann de Kersauson told AFP when breaking the news at the weekend.

UEFA's French president, Michel Platini, announced that the tribute would be observed before the match in Kiev, from which France need a point to ensure their path into the quarter-finals.

"He was the voice of football for millions of people and he was my friend," Platini said in a statement.

Roland caused controversy on occasion during his long career in the commentary, where he often sat alongside former France international Jean-Michel Larque.

He was accused of racism when commentating on Diego Maradona's infamous handball 'Hand of God' goal against England at the 1986 World Cup, he said: "Honestly, Jean-Michel, don't you think that there could have been a better choice to referee such a big match as this than a Tunisian?"

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