London: Arsenal`s French manager Arsene Wenger said Friday he hoped his compatriots would stay united after the "dreadful and terrible" attacks in Paris this week.
Twelve people were killed in Wednesday`s attack on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which had been threatened before for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed.
Wenger expressed his dismay at the events and hopes that what happened will not polarise the French population along religious or ethnic lines.
"It is a dreadful and terrible situation," the Frenchman said.
"It is shocking. I think the whole country is shocked. France is a country with a freedom of speech, it has a big history and to think in a country like France you can die today because of your ideas and the way you want to speak is absolutely shocking.
"I hope at the moment that the whole country is united and I hope it will not create a divided country, the consequences of that would be terrible."
The world of sport showed their support with the French Football Federation, as well as the governing bodies for French rugby union, basketball and cycling announcing all fixtures played under their auspices would observe a minute`s silence beforehand.
The Ligue 1 match between Lyon and Toulouse on Sunday has been moved back by three hours to avoid a clash with national tributes to the victims of this week`s Paris shootings.
A major rally in Paris is planned in support of those who died.