French Football Federation

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French Football Federation
French Football Federation logo.svg
Founded7 April 1919; 102 years ago (1919-04-07)
FIFA affiliation1919
UEFA affiliation1954
PresidentNoël Le Graët

The French Football Federation (FFF) (French: Fédération Française de Football) is the governing body of football in France. It also includes the overseas departments (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion) and the overseas collectivities (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Pierre and Miquelon and Saint Barthélemy-Saint Martin) and also Monaco. It was formed in 1919 and is based in the capital, Paris. The FFF was a founding member of FIFA and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the game of football in France, both professional and amateur. The French Football Federation is a founding member of UEFA and joined FIFA in 1907 after replacing the USFSA, who were founding members.[1]



Before the FFF was established, football, rugby union and others sports in France were regulated by the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA). Founded in November 1890, the USFSA was initially headquartered in Paris but its membership soon expanded to include sports clubs from throughout France.[2][3][4]

In 1894 the USFSA also organised the first recognised French football championship.[5] The first competition featured just four Paris teams and was organised on a knockout basis.[6]

In 1900 the USFSA sent players from Parisian Club Français to represent France at the 1900 Summer Olympics.[7][8] On 1 May 1904 the USFSA also selected the first official France national football team. The USFSA would be dissolved in 1919 after some disagreements with FIFA.

Formation and evolution[edit]

The Fédération Française de Football was formed on 7 April 1919 following the transformation of the Comité Français Interfédéral (CFI) into the Fédération Française de Football Association (FFFA). The CFI were seen as a rival organization to the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA) due to the organization's constantly disagreeing with each other, mainly due to the latter's opposition to professionalism in sport. Following the debacle at the 1908 Summer Olympics, in which France sent two teams, one controlled by the USFSA and another by FIFA, the CFI ruled that FIFA would now be responsible for the club's appearances in forthcoming Olympic Games and not the USFSA. Being a founding member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the USFSA disagreed with the ruling and, despite having three years to reach an agreement, the CFI and the USFSA failed to, which led to France not sending a football team to the 1912 Summer Olympics. The USFSA later developed friction with FIFA and the IOC, which led to disorganization and in 1913, became semi-affiliated with the CFI.

On 7 April 1919, the CFI transformed themselves into the Fédération Française de Football with Jules Rimet being installed as the federation's first president. Its legal status is placed under the French Association loi de 1901 jurisdiction (Voluntary association). The FFF has been affiliated to FIFA since 1907, when the CFI succeeded the USFSA as France's representative. Two years later after the CFI's transformation, the USFSA officially merged with the federation.

On 28 June 2010, the federation's current president, Jean-Pierre Escalettes, announced his resignation from his position effective 23 July.[9] On 23 July, Fernand Duchaussoy was installed as the federation's interim president and, on 18 December, the title was removed making him the federation's 11th president in its history.[10] On 18 June 2011, following as election, Nöel Le Graët was named as the federation's 12th president.[11]


The French Football Federation describes itself in these four roles:

The FFF sanctions all competitive football matches in France, either directly, beginning with the Championnat National on down, or indirectly through the Ligue de Football Professionnel, who manage Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, the first and second divisions of France, respectively, as well as the Coupe de la Ligue. The LFP, however, still operate under the authority of the federation. The federation is also responsible for appointing the management of the men's, women's and youth national football teams. In 2010, the FFF had 2,107,924 licenses, with over 1,800,000 registered players and 18,000 registered clubs.[12] The federation unveiled its new crest (above right) in 2007.

The French Football Force runs numerous competitions, the most famous of which is the annual Coupe de France. The Coupe de France is managed under the authority of the Federal Commission of the Coupe de France, which is directly attached to the Federal Council of the FFF. The federation also organizes the championships of the semi-professional and amateur leagues, such as the Championnat National, the Championnat de France amateur and Championnat de France amateur 2, and the regional and departmental leagues, as well as the latter's cup competitions.

The federation also governs youth leagues, such as the Championnat National of the under-19s and under-17s. The FFF also oversee the organization of the Coupe Gambardella and the Coupe Nationale for the under-15 and under-13 club teams. The federation organizes all three divisions of women's football in France and oversee the Challenge de France, the women's premier cup competition.

Federal Council[edit]

Member Role Notes
Fernand Duchaussoy [fr] President Named as interim president on 23 July 2010. Title was removed on 18 December.
Noël Le Graët Vice-President
Gervais Martel Vice-President Serves as chairman of Ligue 2 club RC Lens.
Jacques Rousselot Vice-President Serves as chairman of Ligue 1 club AS Nancy.
Christian Teinturier Vice-President
Jacques Léger Vice-President Also serves as President of the Ligue de Bourgogne (Burgundy)
Marc Riolacci Vice-President Also serves as President of the Ligue du Corse (Corsica)
Frédéric Thiriez Vice-President Also serves as President of the Ligue de Football Professionnel.
Bernard Désumer Treasurer
Henri Monteil General secretary
Guy Chambily Chairman of Supervisory committee
Bernard Saules Referee representative Serves as President of the National Union of Referees
René Charrier UNFP representative
Marilou Duringer-Erckert Professional women's players representative
Pierre Rochcongar Doctor
François Ponthieu Member
Jean-Marc Puissesseau Member
Jacques Thébault Member
Jean-Marie Lawniczak Member


The French Football Force operates 14 élite academies throughout the country of France, the most famous being Le Centre Technique National Fernand Sastre, or simply Clairefontaine, which was created by former FFF president Fernand Sastre in 1976. Located 50 km southwest of Paris in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, Clairefontaine is arguably the finest football academy in the world. It has a high reputation of producing some of the most gifted French players including Nicolas Anelka, Louis Saha, William Gallas and national team top scorer Thierry Henry.


In order for a player to be selected to an academy, he/she must be at least 13 years of age, have French citizenship, and be living and playing within the region of the academy the player is registering for. Registration for new players at an academy normally begins in October the year before players enroll at the academy when prospective applicants are 12 years of age. Players have until December to register with their club for acceptance into the academy. The first set of trials are carried out by each district within its respective region. Each district selects a set number of players who will traveled to the region's academy to attend a tryout, which is usually held over a three-day period. The dates of the tryouts vary depending on the academy. The Clairefontaine academy normally hold its tryouts during the Easter school holidays, however the academy in Châteauroux holds its tryouts in June. After the three days, the academy director and officials will convene to select a maximum of 22 players with three or four of the 22 being goalkeepers. The number of players selected also vary depending on the academy.

Training and accommodation[edit]

Players who are selected to attend an academy stay and train at the facilities from Monday through Friday. Players are given the weekend off to go and visit family and, also, to train and play with their parent clubs. They are given school holidays off, as well. Players are also required to meet educational criteria. For example, players age 13–15 training at Clairefontaine attend the Collège Catherine de Vivonne de Rambouilet in Rambouillet. After departing Rambouilet, players enroll at the nearby high school Lycée Louis Bascan de Rambouillet with hopes that they will earn their Baccalauréat. All costs required to attend an academy are borne by the federation and the Ligue Nationale de Football.[13]

Academy Location Notes
CREPS de Aquitaine Talence Trains players exclusively brought up in Aquitaine.
Centre de Préformation de Football Liévin Trains players exclusively brought up in Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
Pôle Espoir de Castelmaurou Castelmaurou Trains players exclusively brought up in the Midi-Pyrénées.
Clairefontaine Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines Trains players exclusively brought up in Île-de-France.
IFR Châteauroux Châteauroux Trains players exclusively brought up in Centre.
Pôle Espoir de Dijon Dijon Trains players exclusively brought up in Burgundy.
Pôle Espoir de la Guadeloupe Guadeloupe Trains players exclusively brought up in the French Caribbean
Pôle Espoir de Marseille Marseille Trains players exclusively brought up in and around Méditerranée.
PEF Ploufragan Ploufragan Trains players exclusively brought up in Brittany.
CREPS de Reims Reims Trains players exclusively brought up in Champagne-Ardenne.
CREPS La Réunion Réunion Trains players exclusively brought up in Réunion and nearby territories.
PEF Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire Trains players exclusively brought up in Pays de la Loire.
Pôle Espoir de Vichy Vichy Trains players exclusively brought up in Auvergne.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "De nouveaux logos pour la FFF". 2018-07-25. Archived from the original on 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  2. ^ The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC- Athens to Beijing, 1894–2008: David Miller (2008)
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  4. ^ "This Great Symbol" (PDF). Retrieved 18 March 2007.
  5. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2020-01-11. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  6. ^ Football in France, a statistical record 1894–2003: Alex Graham (2004)
  7. ^ Games of the II. Olympiad - Football Tournament by Søren Elbech and Karel Stokkermans on the RSSSF
  8. ^ The Complete Results & Line-ups of the Olympic Football Tournaments 1900–2004: Colin Jose (2004)
  9. ^ "Escalettes démissionne!". France Football. 28 June 2010. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Fernand Duchaussoy élu". French Football Federation. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Nöel Le Graët élu Président". French Football Federation. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  12. ^ Licenses of the French Football Federation
  13. ^ "Les conditions d'inscription". French Football Federation. 6 November 2010. Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2010.

External links[edit]