1. Pierrede Coubertin was a French educator and historian born on the first day ofJanuary of 1863. What Pierre is most famously known for is his central role inreviving the Olympic Games in the year of 1896.
Tied to that, he is known forbeing a founding member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) andserving as the president for the next thirty years. Before he founded the IOC,Baron de Coubertin was a French professor and historian making his futureaccomplishments extremely unlikely. When he was only eight years old, theFrench lost the Franco-Prussian War to the Germans. Coubertinplanned on focusing on physical education in the late 19th century because hebelieved that if France were to become an athletic power, then they could besaved from military humiliation. With this, he planned on changing physicaleducation for the French.
This however did not pan out as Pierre had hoped andbecause of this he traveled to England and America to study athletics for theywere far more superior in athletics than the French were at the time. “…sportssuch as football, taken up in France in the late nineteenth century and moldedaround Pierre de Coubertin’s ideas.” (Hare 8) As he began to realize this, hehad a thought pop in his head that maybe, if the countries were to competeagainst one another, they could better the French athletes who would have tokeep up. Based upon the ancient Olympic games of ancient Greece, Coubertinunveiled his plans for the new Olympics to the French Union of Athletic SportsSocieties in 1892. Once again, the plan did not work as well as Coubertin wouldhave wanted to but two years later, he would try again and acquired 79delegates from 12 different countries to establish the first InternationalOlympic Committee. For his hard work in attempting to gather countries insport, Pierre de Coubertin is widely known as the Father of the Olympics. 2. Football (soccer) development in Francewas highly influenced by English and the English Premier League.
Many French phrasesare tied to English such as ‘penalty’, ‘corner’, ‘la Ligue’ (the league) and ‘legardien’ which means the goalkeeper in English. “In France the vocabulary of ‘lefootball’ (or ‘le foot’ for short) is still partly English.” (Hare 15) Soccer,as a whole, was brought to France by means of the British who already had arelatively successful foundation themselves.
Pierre de Coubertin is oftenreferred to as the founder of the Olympic Movement as said in question 1, hewould not have been able to do all that he did without French footballenthusiasts. Together they were able to establish FIFA (FederationInternationale de Football Association), UEFA (Union of European FootballAssociations), the World Cup and other European championships or competitions. Alsomentioned in the first question was the invasion from Germany that caused theFrench to fall trying to defend themselves in 1870.
“Sport became part of anational mission after the military invasion and defeat of France in 1870/71″(Hare 18) The first French football club was formed shortly after thegovernment began promoting physical fitness in schools for the youth inresponse to what the Germans did in the nineteenth century. In the city of LeHavre, the Le Havre Athletic Club was formed in 1872 which was the very firstFrench Football Club ever. This club, being an Athletic club, did more thanjust football and included other sports such as rugby and therefore not beingthe first absolute football club in France. That would come roughly fifteen yearslater with the Paris Association Football Club was formed and officially becamethe first absolute French football club.
Unfortunately, this club only lastedtwo short years as members chose to leave to a club known as Standard Athletic.While it may not have lasted, this club was soon followed by others likeWhite-Rovers and Gordon. However, Gordon was found by Scotland and White-Roverwas an English club. Finally, in 1892, France created its very own absolutefootball club called Le Club francais. Over the next couple years, footballfound itself significant enough to have access to the USFSA (Union des SocietesFrancaises de Sports Athletiques) where they held a ‘national’ competition in1894. “In 1893/94 football had a significant enough presence that clubs wereallowed membership of the USFSA, a multi-sports federation presided over byBaron Pierre de Coubertin.
” (Hare 16) In this national competition, there weresix clubs and was eventually called le championnat de France. Thanks to theseclubs and the competitions altogether, football could finally be revolutionizedin France. 3.
Surprisingly, one thing that helpedspread the game of football was World War 1. At this point in time, draftingyoung men to serve their country was very popular unlike how things are today.In order to keep their sanity, these young men needed an escape from the warand for them that escape was soccer. For fun, these young men would form teamsand compete. Hare claimed that, “The army itself was torn betweenthe traditionalist, Catholic ideology of its officer class and its Republicanduties to the State”, this dispute caused the army to resign any of theiron-duty players if they were to participate in games under FIFA. One of thearmy on-duty army-men was one by the name of Pierre de Coubertin. His liabilitywas very soon tested when the French international team offered him a spot on theteam.
The team only needed one more player and Coubertin was ordered not toplay for the French team considering they were part of FIFA. The day after thegame, in which Coubertin did play, he was punished by his commanding officerfor disobeying orders. This was one of the ways that World War 1 broughtproblems for football in France. The first world war would not be the last to havean affect on football in France as the second world war followed suit. “Whilethe ‘Union sacrée’ (Sacred Union) had helped the nation put aside itsdifferences to face the First World War, as they became complicated by andgradually overshadowed by class and political conflicts opposing capital andlabour.” Unlike the first world war, the second was more of a healing periodand would refrain from causing as many problems as WWI. For the best of hiscountry, Henri Delaunay was put in charge of bringing together the soccerfederations.