PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil – France and Honduras streamed onto the pitch as usual, greeted by a massive roar. But as players took their positions, it become clear something was missing: the singing of the national anthems.
The Group E match kicked off at Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre on Sunday without the anthems being played over the stadium speakers. FIFA did not provide an immediate explanation for why the songs weren't played.
All international football matches, friendlies included, typically begin with national anthems — with French fans always giving a rousing rendition of "La Marseillaise" before the team's games.