Évence Coppée Trophy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Event Évence Coppée Trophy
Date 1 May 1904
Venue Stade du Vivier d'Oie, Uccle
Referee John C. Keene (England)
Attendance 1,500

The Évence Coppée Trophy (French: Trophée Évence Coppée) was a single-game tournament in 1904 and the maiden match of the national association football teams of Belgium and France. The trophy was named after Évence Coppée, the Belgian patron that decided to organise this duel in the framework of the Franco-Belgian friendship. The incident-packed game had taken place at the Stade du Vivier d'Oie ("Goose Pond Stadium") in Uccle, Belgium, and ended in a 3–3 draw.[1][2] As the encounter ended undecided (and no extra time was foreseen) the Évence Coppée Trophy that would be handed out to the winner was logically not awarded.[1]

Historical context[edit]

It meant the official debut of both national football teams[2][3] and it was at the same time the first match between two independent European countries; it was the third official international football game in continental Europe (after the games between Austro-Hungarian teams Austria and Hungary[4][5] and the squads of Hungary and Bohemia)[6] and the third official game between the teams of two independent countries (after two matches between Argentina and Uruguay in 1902 and 1903).[7] Twenty days later in Paris, Belgium and France would found the international association football federation FIFA together with five other Western European football associations (Belgium being represented by the UBSSA, precursor of the Royal Belgian Football Association, and France by USFSA, precursor of the current French Football Federation).[8]

Pre-match, tactics and team outfits[edit]

Both teams were not selected by a national manager but by their entire national Football Association (with as Belgian chairman Édouard de Laveleye and as French chairman Robert Guérin).[9] For reasons of transport difficulties and army enrollment the French delegation was decimated.[10] Since the 1st of May was not yet considered an international holiday back then, the French players working as employees had to ask for a day off.[11] At least two French players (Louis Mesnier and Fernand Canelle) even left their country without permission from their employers.[12]

From France, the tactics were described as follows. "France plays 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' (not named wingers yet) 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 USFSA, blue shorts and red socks.[12][13]

Pre-match panoramic team picture in front of a goal. At the left: team Belgium; at the right: team France; in the middle: referee John C. Keene, posing with the match ball.

The challenge[edit]


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

Squad :
GK Alfred Verdyck
BK Albert Friling
BK Edgard Poelmans
HW Guillaume "Lomme" Van Den Eynde
HC Charles Cambier
HW Camille Van Hoorden (c)
FW Maurice "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
Belgique-France 1904Alfred 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
About this image

Squad :
GK Maurice Guichard
BK Fernand Canelle (c)
BK Joseph 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

E. Fontaine


With respect to the players it is remarkable that striker Georges Quéritet, in spite of having scored most goals in this inaugurational match, would not be selected anymore for the Belgian national side.[16] Belgian goalie Alfred Verdyck, on the other hand, would become the secretary-general of the Belgian FA.[17] In French journals, the two players that did not receive permission for their away match from their employers (Mesnier and Canelle) were referred to with the respective pseudonyms "Didi" and "Fernand".[11][12]

Regarding later international association football, it should be noted that Robert Guérin, deputee of the French Football Association, would be assigned as first FIFA president at its erection twenty days after this match. The Belgium-France duel would grow out to a long-lasting sportive rivalry with 73 games played in 111 years as of 7 June 2015.[2][3]

All Franco-Belgian encounters[edit]

The full record between the two countries is as follows:

Correct as of 10 July 2018.[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 73 30 25 19 160 127
*Including two friendly duels 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


  1. ^ a b "Belgium v France − a 109-year-old rivalry". UEFA. 13 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Belgium - List of International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  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. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  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. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "1904 L'aube de la grande histoire". French Football Association. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  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. 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.