France is aiming to capitalise on next year’s European Football Championship, Euro 2016, to boost the number of grass-roots football club members in the country by around 15 per cent.
Florence Hardouin, deputy general manager of the French Football Federation (FFF), told insidethegames that the aim was to boost club members from 2.2 million at present to 2.5-2.6 million within around two years.
The Federation, she said, had a budget of €37 million (£27 million/$42 million) at its disposal to help cement this legacy.
Spending would be focused on three areas: modernising infrastructure at France’s 15,000 clubs; training programmes for the country’s 100,000 coaches; and supply of basic equipment such as jerseys and balls.
Interviewed here at SPORTEL in Monte Carlo, Hardouin said that a marketing campaign, with an emphasis on new media, with the slogan, “Proud to be Blue”, would be launched in January to drum up support for the national team, who look like going into their home tournament far more heavily fancied than when the country staged the FIFA World Cup in 1998, a competition Les Bleus ultimately won.
She said that the last new tournament stadium, at Lyon, would be ready soon and should stage its first match in March.
Of the 2.5 million tickets, 1.7 million had been sold without fans knowing which countries would be playing in which venues.
Tickets for the opening match and the final were five or six times oversubscribed.
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