“A historic contract with Nike, worth more than 100 million euros”

“A historic contract with Nike, worth more than 100 million euros”
“A historic contract with Nike, worth more than 100 million euros”

Coming to Finistère to inaugurate the district headquarters, the president of the French Football Federation Philippe Diallo took the opportunity to attend the Ligue 1 match between Brest and Reims, Friday May 10, 2024. Earlier in the afternoon, the who has been leading the helm of French football for 16 months, gave an interview to Ouest-France. The right moment for him to expose his first feats of arms, as well as his thoughts on the controversies encountered on the road. And it is with complete peace of mind that he approaches his first sporting turning point with the Euro, then the Olympic Games this summer.

After the elimination of Paris in the Champions League and OM in the last four of the Europa League, how do you judge the French progress in Europe this season?

I think it is still necessary to underline the good overall performance of French clubs in the European Cups, which represent two of the twelve clubs qualified in the semi-finals, taking into account the three European Cups. It’s a very good performance. We kept six, seven qualified teams for a long time; The overall performance of our clubs this season is quite remarkable. Obviously, we are disappointed not to have taken the last step. These two finals were accessible but the high level demands mean that you have to be in optimal conditions to reach them. We gained a lot of points in the UEFA index, which are important for qualifying more and more clubs in the future. Next year, there will be 7 European clubs out of the 18 in Ligue 1. That’s a lot, and that’s good, especially since the European Cups are one of the important elements of the income of French clubs.

What is your opinion on the organization of the L1 calendar by the Professional Football League?

The postponement of matches is first and foremost a decision that belongs to the LFP. The project it has set up aims for excellence and favors clubs which participate in European cups. This policy aims to put our clubs in the best possible conditions so that they can covet a European title. Because since the creation of the European Cups, the record has been meager: a Cup of Cups in 1996 with PSG and the Champions League with OM in 1993. We need to expand it because it is also what which makes our domestic championship valuable. Economically, European revenues also allow our championship to become more and more attractive and strong. In Europe, it’s not just this or that club that plays; there is a form of general interest in their success. The League’s decisions therefore appear legitimate.

This Ligue 1 season has been marked by several controversies surrounding refereeing. You made the decision to dismiss Stéphane Lannoy (technical director of refereeing). Several weeks later, would you make this choice again?

Yes. I did it consciously. A number of elements led me to make this difficult decision. But I took it in the general interest of French refereeing and to ensure that our end of the championship takes place in the best possible conditions. In this respect, despite the controversies which I do not deny, I also want to say all the quality of French arbitration: two referees selected for Euro 2024 (Turpin and Letexier), two referees in the quarter and half- finals of the European Cups, one who perhaps refereed one of the matches of the year (Real-City, 3-3 in the first leg) with Mr. Letexier on the whistle, so it shows that the international authorities of the UEFA are sensitive to the quality of our referees, since they participate in the biggest matches and the biggest competitions. So that shows a certain level of quality among our referees.
Then, I am not going to deny that there were a certain number of difficulties, refereeing errors, difficulties in understanding the relationship between the referee and the VAR, etc. All of this made me want to set up a committee…

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