BIRTH OF THE FRENCH TEAM
May 1, 1904
The French team official debut was a friendly match against Belgium at the Vivier d'Oie stadium in Uccle in front of 1,500 people. Refereed by English referee John Keene, the match ended in a draw (3-3). Les Bleus, dressed in white, Louis Mesnier, Marius Royet and Gaston Cyprès countered Georges Quéritet's double and Pierre-Joseph Destrebecq's goal.
CREATION OF THE COUPE DE FRANCE
January 15, 1917
The French Cup was created by the “Comité Français Interfédéral (CFI)” on the initiative of its General Secretary Henri Delaunay. Honouring the memory of Charles Simon, founder of the CFI, who died in 1915 for which the cup is named. For its first edition, it pitted 48 teams against each other and today, it is the largest football competition in the world bringing together both amateur and professional players.
BIRTH OF THE FFF
April 7, 1919
The body succeeds the “Comité français interfédéral (CFI)” and is called the “Fédération Française de Football Association (FFFA)”. It was chaired by Jules Rimet, future FIFA President. Its mission: organise national competitions and international matches for its teams to bring together the best French players.
THE FIRST NEWSPAPER 100% FOOTBALL
Provided information relating to the organisation and running of competitions, it quickly became a necessity. The FFF created the first newspaper dedicated solely to football.
FIRST WOMEN'S FOOTBALL MATCH
April 29, 1920
25,000 spectators attended the first international women's match between Preston's team and France's top players in Deepdale, north-west England, where they lost 0-2.
WORLD CUP STAGING
May 26, 1928
Jules Rimet, the president of the FFF, and Henri Delaunay, its general secretary, campaigned for the creation of an international competition and they were heard: the FIFA Executive Committee decided to create a World Cup. The first edition took place two years later in Uruguay. The trophy was named Jules Rimet in 1946.
THE YOUNG FOOTBALLER COMPETITION
April 27, 1930
The FFF understood the detection of future talent. The first edition of the young footballer's competition took place shortly after the French Cup final. Jean-Michel Larqué in 1964 and Serge Chiesa in 1967 put their names down on this prestigious prize, of which the last edition was held in 1979.
CREATION OF THE PROFESSIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The National Council of the FFF, under the leadership of Georges Bayrou, Emmanuel Gambardella and Gabriel Hanot, voted 128 votes for (and 20 against) the creation of a professional championship. It was held two years later.
WORLD CUP ORGANISATION
June 4-19, 1938
France's first major international football event was the 1938 World Cup, the third of its kind, which was organised by Jules Rimet. After Austria's withdrawal, 15 teams participated in ten cities and at the Yves-du-Manoir Olympic Stadium in Colombes, Italy defended its title by beating Hungary in the final (4-2). A match refereed for the first time by a Frenchman: Georges Capdeville.
FIRST RADIO BROADCAST
June 4-19, 1938
Fifteen teams took part in the third edition of the World Cup in France. In order to promote its activity, the FFF financed its first radio broadcast report devoted to football.
THE ANCESTOR OF THE LFP
October 27, 1944
Since 1932, a FFF committee, the French Championship chaired by Emmanuel Gambardella, was responsible for overseeing those clubs authorised to pay their players. When the war ended, the clubs came together under the “Ligue de Football”, renamed the “Groupement des clubs autorisés à utiliser des joueurs professionnels” on March 12, 1946, the forerunner of the “Ligue professionnelle de football”.
FIRST NIGHT MATCH
March 26, 1952
The FFF organizes the first international outdoor sports event at night. Under the light of 120 1,000-watt stadium lights, the French team lost to Sweden at the Parc des Princes (0-1).
FROM A FEW THOUSAND TO MILLIONS OF VIEWERS...
May 4, 1952
First match broadcasted live on television with the French Cup final between Nice and Bordeaux. On October 9, 1952, the first broadcast of a Les Bleus match against Germany. The day before, 1,000 television sets were sold in France. It is estimated there are 40,000 screens in the country. Today, a French Cup final attracts at least 6 million viewers. The French team holds eight audience records for French TV. The most watched was the France-Portugal World Cup 2006, with 22.2 million viewers.
BIRTH OF UEFA
June 15, 1954
After Robert Guerin, who inspired the creation of FIFA's first headquarters in Paris on May 21, 1904, Henri Delaunay worked towards creating the Group of European Associations, the forerunner of the UEFA. He became its first general secretary. His son Pierre Delaunay, who died in 2019, succeeded him as secretary of the FFF and UEFA.
FIRST GAMBARDELLA CUP
May 26, 1955
AS Cannes wins the first final against Lille OSC (3-0) at the Parc des Princes. The Gambardella Cup predecessor was the “Coupe nationale des juniors” (1937 to 1939). Paul Nicolas proposed this event for youth from professional clubs and suggested that its name should honour Emmanuel Gambardella, president of the FFF, who died on August 30, 1953. The 66th edition took place during the 2018-2019 season, with AJ Auxerre defending its trophy record (7), ahead of Nimes Olympiques, AS Monaco and AS Saint-Etienne (4).
CREATION OF THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
January 10, 1957
UEFA agrees to Frenchman Henri Delaunay's European Cup of Nations project.
FIRST EURO IN FRANCE
July 6-10, 1960
For the first edition of the European Nations Championship, then known as the European Cup of Nations, and now Euro, UEFA chose France. After winning the semi-finals (5-4), Yugoslavia were defeated by the USSR in extra time in the final (2-1).
FIRST JERSEY SPONSOR
October 2, 1968
Advertising appears on the jerseys. Ten million televisions and matches broadcasted on TV attract advertisers. The following year, the FFF and the ORTF reached an agreement on the basis of an annual broadcast of fifteen Championship and five French Cup matches.
THE DIRECTION TECHNIQUE NATIONALE IS CREATED
On the initiative of national coach Georges Boulogne, the FFF set up the Direction Technique Nationale (DTN) and a training plan. A network of regional and departmental technical advisers were brought together to help identify talent and promote training at all clubs. More than three hundred national coaches and technical managers are attached to the DTN. France is now considered one of the leading training countries.
WOMEN'S FOOTBALL RECOGNIZED
April 17, 1971
After beating the Netherlands 4-0 in Hazebrouck, after Jocelyne Ratignier's hat-trick and a goal from Marie-Claire Harant, the eleven women's tricolore won more than a match. Despite having already played several friendlies, it was this match that the Federation - who recognised the game in 1970 - would designate as the first for the French women's team. It was also recognized by the FIFA, the first official women’s international match.
THE INF VICHY SEES THE LIGHT OF DAY
November 6, 1972
The FFF sets up the National Football Institute, in Vichy. The INF would eventually move to Clairefontaine. Twenty-three men's and women's youth divisions have since been set up throughout the country.
FRANCE- WEST GERMANY AN ANTHOLOGY
July 8, 1982
Eliminated on penalties (3-3, 4-5 on penalties), after a match of unrivalled drama, the French team, composed of a golden generation (Platini, Giresse, Tigana, Rocheteau, Six, Trésor, Bossis...), dazzled with their game in the semi-final of the World Cup in Seville. A match that is part of the legend.
THE TRICOLORES CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE
June 27, 1984
France wins its first major European title. During this Euro, organised at home, Les Bleus, led by Michel Hidalgo, won all their matches until the final against Spain (2-0). Michel Platini set a new record for goals scored (9).
FIRST OLYMPIC TITLE
August 11, 1984
The French Olympic Team, led by Henri Michel, won the gold medal in Pasadena at the Olympic Games in the USA, defeating Brazil (2-0). The scorers: François Brisson and Daniel Xuereb.
INAUGURATION OF CLAIREFONTAINE
June 11, 1988
Under his presidency (1972-1984), Fernand Sastre had the idea of providing the FFF with a centre of excellence for training and selection. Inaugurated in 1988 in the presence of France’s President François Mitterrand, the “Direction Technique Nationale”, located on the 56-hectare Montjoye estate in Clairefontaine (Yvelines), with its famous 17th-century château, has been a centre of excellence recognized throughout the world. It was renamed the “Centre National du Football”.
CREATION OF THE DNCG
The FFF introduced a tool for the financial control of clubs that was unprecedented in football. This “Direction nationale du contrôle de gestion (DNCG)” was initiated by Noël Le Graët, who was elected president of the “Ligue Nationale de Football (ex-LFP)” in 1991, and subsequently inspired many countries and the UEFA to introduce financial fair play.
July 12, 1998
On the evening of July 12, 1998, all of France celebrated the first world title for the national team. More than 1.5 million people gathered on the Champs-Élysées. Aimé Jacquet's Les Bleus and their captain Didier Deschamps beat Brazil in the final (3-0), thanks to a double header from Zinédine Zidane and a goal from Emmanuel Petit. Fabien Barthez was named best goalkeeper.
THE UNFORGETTABLE EXPLOIT OF CALAIS
May 7, 2000
That year, the French Cup's Petit Poucet capsized the country. The amateur club from CFA (4th division) had a magnificent epic run from the fourth round of the competition to the final at the Stade de France, in front of 80,000 spectators, after having eliminated two clubs in D2 (Lille and Cannes) and D1 (Strasbourg and Bordeaux). In the final, Calais were almost level with FC Nantes, but lost out on penalties at the last minute (1-2). Calais captain Réginald Becque now works for the FFF in the Ligue du Football Amateur (LFA).
THE BLUES GET THE DOUBLE
July 2, 2000
Led by Roger Lemerre, the French team brilliantly won the Euro 2000 organized in the Netherlands and Belgium. After defeating Spain in the quarterfinals (2-1) and Portugal in the semi-finals (2-1 b.e.o.), Les Bleus defeated Italy in the final (2-1), thanks to a memorable golden goal from David Trezeguet in overtime in a thrilling encounter.
SECOND CONFEDERATION CUP
June 29, 2003
On home soil, the French team then coached by Jacques Santini lifted their second FIFA Confederations Cup after defeating Cameroon (1-0 a.p.), and two years after winning the world title for the first time in South Korea and a 1-0 win over Japan.
A NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR THE FFF
January 11, 2007
The FFF, chaired by Jean-Pierre Escalettes, relocated from its headquarters on avenue d'Iéna in the 16th district of Paris to 87, boulevard de Grenelle, in the capital's 15th district.
CREATION OF THE FOOTBALL TRAINING INSTITUTE
September 22nd, 2009
Under the chairmanship of Jean-Pierre Escalettes, the Federation established a training organisation for football actors: managers, coaches and leaders. This training policy is deployed throughout the country through regional training institutes, bodies managed by the Regional Leagues of Amateur Football (Ligues Régionales du Football Amateur). More than 25,000 particpants are trained each season.
THE FFF LAUNCHES A FEMINIZATION PLAN
Noël Le Graët promoted a plan to feminise football. Les Bleues have moved up the ladder to A level. The clubs opened women's sections, the number of female members quadrupled (nearly 200,000 to date), and the women's D1 training program, was renamed D1 Arkema and is broadcasted by Canal +, has grown. In March 2015, the FFF's development policy was rewarded with the organization of the 2019 World Cup.
APPOINTMENT OF DIDIER DESCHAMPS
July 8, 2012
Following Les Bleus' elimination in the Round of 16 at Euro 2012, Noël Le Graët decided to appoint Didier Deschamps to replace Laurent Blanc. Under the direction of the former Marseille coach, the French national team has expereinced a new dynamic. It reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup and then the final of Euro 2016 before winning its second world title in Russia in 2018.
FIRST WORLD TITLE FOR WOMEN'S FOOTBALL
October 13, 2012
In Baku, the French women's under-17 team, coached by Guy Ferrier, won its first French women's world title against North Korea (1-1, 7-6 in the b.a.t.). Defender Griedge Mbock was named best player of the tournament, Romane Bruneau best goalkeeper.
LABEL OF EXCELLENCE FOR THE MEDICAL CENTRE
April 17, 2013
Clairefontaine's CNF medical centre receives the "FIFA Medical Center of Excellence" Label. It was set up in 1988 and provides treatment for elite footballers, national teams and professional clubs. It also welcomes other athletes (rugby, basketball, etc.). It has the latest equipment and carries out research.
THE FFF CREATES A FAN CLUB
The Federation decided to create a real club for French Team fans, in the image of the greatest French and European kops. It organises events, travel... This fan club now has more than 25,000 active members.
LAUNCH OF THE FFF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME
September 22, 2014
Developed and financed by the FFF, the Federal Educational Program (FEP) is a pedagogical tool to help amateur clubs in the training of their young members aged 5 to 18. The latter are thus made aware of the republic and civic values of football (pleasure, respect, commitment, tolerance, solidarity) by learning the rules (of the game and life), around six themes: health, community, commitment, environment, fair play, rules of the game and refereeing, and football culture. The FFF is one of the few sports federations in the world to have launched such an educational program.
LEADING TRAINING COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
A study by CIES, an independent research firm, highlighted that France was the leading training country among the 32 nations qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Ahead of Germany and England. Another study reached the same conclusion on the occasion of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
A CUTTING EDGE CLAIREFONTAINE
The new Clairefontaine is inaugurated before Euro 2016. The FFF invested €25 million to modernise, develop and maintain the CNF, a showcase for French football training and performance. A new training and conference centre, a new state-of-the-art recovery room, brand new pitches and increased capacity for the team and training teams was installed.
PROFESSIONALIZATION OF REFEREES
The FFF, with the help of the LFP, decided to professionalize referees. Elite referees can fully devote themselves to their physical, mental and technical preparation at Clairefontaine throughout the season.
THE SUCCESS OF THE EURO
June-10 - July 10, 2016
France hosts its second Euro (the first with 24 teams instead of 16). Finalists, Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus confirm their rise to prominence. The competition was a sporting and popular success. The application file submitted by the FFF allowed the stadium to be renovated. For the first time, the FFF has also created a concrete legacy for amateur football, with 42 million euros to finance infrastructure, equipment, training courses, etc.
A FAR-REACHING TERRITORIAL REFORM
The FFF reviewed its administrative map of the Leagues and Districts that manage amateur football throughout France, in both regions and departments. In record time, with the engagement of the elected representatives of amateur football, the Leagues have been reduced from 22 to 13 and the Districts from 102 to 90.
THE ERA OF INNOVATION AND DIGITALISATION
Re-elected for the third time in March 2017 at the head of the Federation, Noël Le Graët has continued work on modernising the FFF. Named "Ambition 2020", a strategic plan dedicated to innovation and performance was drawn up. "Kick off", an innovation unit and a performance centre were set up to serve elite and amateur football. Among its achievements: the digitalisation of match sheets, digitalisation of licences, mobile applications dedicated to members (players, coaches), data processing, etc.
A COMMUNITY OF 22 MILLION
The FFF is pleased to bring together a community of 22 million members and fans on its social networks (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook...). This places the forum at the forefront of the world's nations.
A RECORD BUDGET
June 2, 2018
Just before the World Cup in Russia, the FFF announced a record budget of 250 million euros thanks to the renegotiation of all commercial contracts (200 million euros in 2010-2011). Exceptional funding for amateur football was planned, amounting to €86 million, to which the FFF added a €10 million package for amateur clubs in the wake of the World Cup title.
INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST FRANCE FUTSAL CENTRE
June 9, 2018
Based on the positive results of the French Futsal Team, qualified for a major competition for the first time, Euro 2018 in Slovenia, the FFF decided to set up a specific training plan for this technical and spectacular discipline. The first French division welcomed its first trainees in Lyon at the start of the 2018 school year.
A 2nd STAR FOR FRANCE
July 15, 2018
The French team earned its second star by defeating Croatia (4-2) in the final in Moscow. Didier Deschamps becomes the third coach to win the world trophy as a player and then as a coach. Kylian Mbappé was named best young player and Benjamin Pavard was awarded the "Goal of the Tournament", scored against Argentina (4-3) in the Round of 16, in one of the best matches of the competition.
A MEMORABLE YEAR
April 4, 2019
In its centenary year, the FFF organised the Women's World Cup (7 June-7 July) and the FIFA Congress (June 6). Between May and August, most of the teams played in their respective categories: the U-20s at the Euro (June 16-30 in Italy), the U-20s at the World Cup (May 23 -June 15 in Poland), or the U-19s at the men's (July 14-27 in Armenia) and women's (July in Scotland 16-28) Euro tournaments, while Les Bleues played at the Women’s World Cup and the senior team was played in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. The summer will be marked by the European crowning of the U19 women's team.
THE WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN FRANCE
June 7 - July 7, 2019
For the first time in its history, France organized the Women's World Cup in nine cities (June 7 -July 7, 2019). More than one million spectators attended the tournament’s 52 matches. Despite the defeat, Les Bleues' quarter-final against the United States (1-2) set a new attendance record with 45,595 spectators. The eighth edition was described by FIFA President Gianni Infantino as "the most beautiful in terms of impact and legacy".
THE U19 WOMEN'S TEAM NEW EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS
July 28, 2019
After beating Spain 3-1 in the semi-finals (3-1 a.p.), France's U-19 women's team - despite being led in the sixth minute - overturned Germany in the final (2-1) thanks to goals from Sandy Baltimore (13th) and captain Maëlle Lakrar (73rd). Les Bleuettes claimed their fifth success in the competition (10 finals played, a record) and striker Melvine Malard was awarded the Golden Shoe (top scorer in the competition, 4 goals). Having been successful, France validated its participation in the U20 Women's World Cup in 2020.
SIGNATURE OF THE ECO-RESPONSIBLE CHARTER
February 7, 2020
The FFF signed on Friday February 7th, in Paris, the Charter of the fifteen eco-responsible commitments of the Ministry of Sports, drawn up in partnership with the WWF France. Launched in January 2017, it was opened on June 11, 2018 to managers of major French sports facilities. By initialling it via its General Director, Florence Hardouin, in the presence of Véronique Andrieux, Director General of the WWF France and the Minister of Sport Roxana Maracineanu, the Federation is committed to making the main events it organises at the Stade de France eco-responsible, by reducing their impact on the environment, as well as promoting and increasing the eco-responsible management of the infrastructure at the Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines National Football Centre.
LAUNCH OF THE TOURNAMENT OF FRANCE
Following the success of the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019, the FFF decided to create a new international women's tournament, the first edition of which took place in March 2020 (from the 4th to 10th) in the Hauts-de-France region (in Calais and Valenciennes). This decision is in line with the women's football development plan implemented by the Federation in 2011-2012. Dubbed the "Tournoi de France", this new competition will bring together four of the best teams in the world, with the Netherlands, reigning European champions and vice-champions of the world, Canada, Brazil and Les Bleues of Corinne Diacre. The Tournament will be held each season in different territories.France won the first edition.