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Developing football in France

Investment in French football has led to stunning results over recent years, with the men's senior team having reached a EURO final and won a World Cup.

UEFA support

Source: UEFA grassroots survey (2019)

UEFA’s HatTrick programme, which channels EURO funds into football development across Europe, has helped the FFF improve its infrastructure.

UEFA HatTrick: developing football in France
UEFA HatTrick: developing football in France

As well as supporting the ongoing development of youth and amateur clubs throughout the country, HatTrick is ensuring more communities have access to dedicated facilities. To date, the programme has supported the construction of four removable structures for five-a-side football, 38 outdoor futsal pitches and 24 five-a-side football pitches.

In June 2020, HatTrick funding also helped the FFF establish an extraordinary solidarity fund, valued at approximately €20 million, to help restart the national game and to support the nation’s 14,182 amateur clubs hit financially by football’s shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the fund’s conditions, every affiliated amateur club was entitled to €10 for each registered player, with the FFF investing €7 and the leagues and districts covering the remainder. More than two million registered players benefited.

UEFA Foundation for Children in France

Set up in 2015, the UEFA Foundation uses football as a vehicle to help improve children’s lives by supporting hundreds of campaigns and projects across Europe and around the world.

Sport dans la Ville

Set up in 1998 and based in Lyon, Grenoble, Saint-Etienne and Paris, Sport dans la Ville is France’s leading non-profit organisation for disadvantaged young people aged 7 to 25.

UEFA support has enabled more than 3,000 disadvantaged children and teenagers to go on holiday. This experience, which others may take for granted, can have a huge impact on the lives of children who have grown up in urban neighbourhoods.

During the holidays Sport dans la Ville provides children with opportunities for personal growth through creative, discovery and sports projects like football. Group activities promote mutual respect, solidarity, daily commitment and teamwork, ensuring children leave with happy memories and motivation to strive to achieve new goals.


Football history

1872: Football makes its debut in France in 1872 with the founding of the Havre Athletic Club.
1894: The first proper competition is held in the country, organised by the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques.
1904: Following the formation of FIFA in Paris, a France national team take to the field for the first time for a 3-3 draw against Belgium.
1906: The Comité Français Interfédéral (CFI) becomes the first body devoted exclusively to the game. The CFI oversees a Trophée de France, which brings together the football champions of various multisport federations.
1917: The Coupe de France, now the country's longest-running football competition, is launched to herald a new era.
1919: The Fédération Française de Football Association (FFFA) is launched, later to become the Fédération Française de Football (FFF).
1932: Professionalism arrives in the French game.
1954: France is again at the vanguard when it comes to creating UEFA and its flagship competitions – the European Champion Clubs' Cup (1955/56) and the UEFA European Championship/Henri Delaunay Cup (1958–60).
1975: Having hosted the first final in 1956, Paris is again the venue for the European Cup final, where Bayern beat Leeds United 2-0.
1981: Six years later, the Parc des Princes once again hosts the final as Liverpool edge out Real Madrid by a single goal.
1993: Marseille become the first French team to lift the European Cup, winning the first Champions League title thanks to a 1-0 win against AC Milan.
1996: Three years later, Paris Saint-Germain lift the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
2000: The Stade de France, opened for the 1998 World Cup, hosts the UEFA Champions League final as Real Madrid beat fellow Spaniards Valencia 3-0, the first time two teams from the same country have contested the final.
2006: Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Champions League final, again in Saint-Denis.
2019: The FFF celebrates its centenary, hosting its first FIFA Women's World Cup in the same year.

France won EURO 2000 two years after becoming world champions
France won EURO 2000 two years after becoming world champions

National team competitions

1930: France participate in the inaugural FIFA World Cup – an event that owes its existence to the efforts of Frenchmen Jules Rimet and Henri Delaunay.
1938: The third edition of the World Cup is held in France.
1958: At the World Cup, Les Bleus claim a very respectable third place as Just Fontaine top-scores with 13 goals, still a finals record.
1982: France finish fourth at the World Cup, enjoying a renaissance after a barren run of form.
1984: A first international title arrives, at the UEFA European Championship. Inspired by Michel Platini, who scores nine goals, the French lift the trophy on home soil.
1986: Another strong showing on the world stage sees a third-place finish in Mexico.
1998: France again hosts the World Cup, and, coached by Aimé Jacquet, Les Bleus carry off the country's maiden world title, beating Brazil 3-0 in the final with the help of two headers from talisman Zinédine Zidane.
2000: Under Roger Lemerre, France land a second European crown, before adding the FIFA Confederations Cup to the honours' list in both 2001 and 2003.
2006: Another fine World Cup campaign sees France beaten in a final penalty shoot-out by Italy.
2016: France host the first 24-team EURO and again come close to glory, suffering a surprise 1-0 defeat by Portugal in the final.
2018: Didier Deschamps' team bounces back from disappointment two years earlier to become world champions for a second time. An entertaining final sees Croatia beaten 4-2, with strikes from Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé following an own goal from Mario Mandžukić.

Noël Le Graët
Noël Le Graët©Getty Images


Noël Le Graët

Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 25 December 1941
Association president since: 2011

Florence Hardouin
Florence Hardouin©UEFA

General secretary

Florence Hardouin

Nationality: French
Date of birth: 26 January 1967
Association chief executive since: 2013

French Football Federation website