Évence Coppée Trophy

The Évence Coppée Trophy (French: Trophée Évence Coppée) was a one-off competition comprising a single association football match in 1904 between Belgium and France. Held at the Stade du Vivier d'Oie in Uccle, Belgium, the match ended in a 3–3 draw.[1]

EventÉvence Coppée Trophy
Date1 May 1904
VenueStade du Vivier d'Oie, Uccle
RefereeJohn C. Keene (England)

The trophy was named after Évence Coppée, the Belgian patron who organised the match to promote Franco-Belgian friendship.[2] Because the game ended in a tie, the trophy itself was not awarded.[1]

Historical context edit

The Évence Coppée Trophy marked the official debut of the French and Belgian national football teams[2][3] and was also the first match between two independent European countries. It was the third official international football game in continental Europe, after the games between Austria and Hungary,[4][5] and Hungary and Bohemia.[6] It was the third official game between the sides of two independent countries, after matches between Argentina and Uruguay in 1902 and 1903.[7]

Twenty days after the match, Belgium, France and five other European football associations founded the international association football federation, FIFA.[8]

Pre-match edit

Pre-match photograph in front of a goal. Left: the Belgian team; right: the French team; centre: the referee John C. Keene, with the match ball

Both teams were selected by their National Football Association (with Belgian chairman Édouard de Laveleye and French chairman Robert Guérin) rather than by a national manager.[9] Because of transportation difficulties and army enrollment, the French delegation was decimated.[10] Since 1 May was not yet considered an international holiday, the French players had to ask for a day off from their employees.[11] At least two French players (Louis Mesnier and Fernand Canelle) left their country without permission from their employers, and in French reports these two players were referred to using the respective pseudonyms "Didi" and "Fernand".[11][12]

The French tactics were described as follows. "France play in a classical 2-3-5 formation: two backs, the two half-wingers (G. Bilot and especially C. Bilot) are defensive and hold the opponent's wingers, Davy is half-center. Finally, there are the five forwards. The 'exteriors' Mesnier and Filez who make a break, the 'interiors' are Royet (who is relay runner) and Cyprès and the powerful center (Garnier), who is also the playmaker."[13]

France played in a white jersey with two rings from the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFS), the former sports governing body in France, blue shorts, and red socks.[12][13]

The match edit


Belgium  3–3  France
Quéritet   7', 50'
Destrebecq   65'
Mesnier   12'
Royet   13'
Cyprès   87'
Attendance: 1,500
Referee: John C. "Daddon" Keene (England)

Squad :
GK Alfred Verdyck
BK Albert Friling
BK Edgard Poelmans
HW Guillaume Van Den Eynde
HC Charles Cambier
HW Camille Van Hoorden (c)
FW Max Tobias
FW Alexandre Wigand
FW Georges Quéritet
FW Pierre-Joseph Destrebecq
FW Charles Vanderstappen


  • GK = Goalkeeper
  • BK = Back
  • HW = Half-winger
  • HC = Half-center
  • FW = Forward
 Alfred VerdyckAlbert FrilingEdgard PoelmansGuillaume Van Den EyndeCharles CambierCamille Van HoordenMaurice TobiasAlexandre WigandGeorges QuéritetPierre-Joseph DestrebecqCharles VanderstappenMaurice GuichardJoseph VerletFernand CanelleCharles BilotJacques DavyGeorges BilotAdrien FilezGaston CyprèsMarius RoyetLouis MesnierGeorges Garnier
Belgique-France 1904

Squad :
GK Maurice Guichard
BK Fernand Canelle (c)
BK Jules Verlet
HW Georges Bilot
HC Jacques Davy
HW Charles Bilot
FW Louis Mesnier
FW Marius Royet
FW Georges Garnier
FW Gaston Cyprès
FW Adrien Filez

Émile Fontaine

Post-match edit

Despite scoring twice in this match, the Belgian striker Georges Quéritet was not selected again for the national side.[16]

The Belgian goalkeeper Alfred Verdyck later became the secretary-general of the Belgian FA.[17] Robert Guérin, the deputy of the French Football Association, became the first president of FIFA twenty days after this match.

All Franco-Belgian encounters edit

Belgium and France have sustained a long-lasting rivalry since this first fixture, with 74 official matches played over more than a century.[2][3]

The full record between the two countries is as follows:[18]

Competition Played Results Goals
Belgium France Draw Belgium France
Friendly* 62 27 19 16 141 103
World Cup qualifiers 4 1 2 1 7 9
World Cup 3 0 3 0 3 8
European Championship
4 2 0 2 5 3
European Championship 1 0 1 0 0 5
TOTAL 74 30 25 19 160 127
*Including two friendly matches at minor tournaments: the Évence Coppée Trophy in 1904 (3–3), and a 1–0 victory for France at the King Hassan II Tournament in 1998.

See also edit

Further reading edit

  • Belgique-France, 1er mai 1904... » in Thierry Hubac, 1904–2004. Un siècle en Bleu, Mango Sport, 2004, pp 8–9.
  • Le match par lequel tout commença », in France Football, Tuesday 25 December 2001, pp 10–11.
  • L'Équipe de France de Football : L'intégrale des 497 rencontres de 1904 à 1991, by Pierre Cazal, Michel Oreggia and Jean-Michel Cazal

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Belgium v France − a 109-year-old rivalry". News. UEFA. 13 August 2013. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Stokkermans, Karel. "Belgium – List of International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b "France – List of International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  4. ^ Stokkermans, Karel (28 October 2010). "Austria – International Results". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
  5. ^ Courtney, Barrie (16 May 2008). "Hungary – List of International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  6. ^ Földesi, László (4 March 2006). "Bohemia and Moravia – International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  7. ^ Pelayes, Héctor Darío (24 September 2010). "ARGENTINA-URUGUAY Matches 1902–2009". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  8. ^ "History of FIFA – Foundation". FIFA. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Belgium and France national football teams played to a 3:3 draw, 1 May 1904". eu-football.info. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  10. ^ "France-Belgique, une rivalité footballistique de 107 ans". Le Monde (in French). 14 November 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Rétro, boulot, Didi..." (in French). blogfoot.dna.fr. 8 April 2008. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  12. ^ a b "1904 L'aube de la grande histoire". French Football Association. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Née le 1er mai 1904 ("Born on May 1, 1904")". L'Équipe (in French). 23 December 2003. p. 7.
  14. ^ "België – France 3:3 (1:2)". IFFHS. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  15. ^ "France – Belgique 1904 (1)". lemondebleu. 1 December 2005. Archived from the original on 6 September 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  16. ^ "Georges Quéritet – national football team player". eu-football.info. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  17. ^ Hubert, Christian (1980). Les diables rouges (in French). Brussels: Arts & voyages. p. 13. ISBN 978-28-016-0046-7.
  18. ^ "France national football team: record v Belgium". AFS Enterprises Limited. Retrieved 10 July 2018.