Football: “The Parisian licensees are finally represented”, declares the president of the new District of Paris

The election of the first management committee of the District of Paris was held Tuesday evening by videoconference during the general assembly organized at the headquarters of the FFF. The only candidate, Philippe Surmon (73), founding president of the Gobelins (now Atlético Paris XIIIe of which he remains co-president in charge of administration), was elected with 88% of the votes boss of Parisian football for the next 4 years . Its District will therefore have 25,000 licensees distributed in 129 clubs previously attached to the Districts of Hauts-de-Seine (12,000 licensees), Seine-Saint-Denis (5,000) and Val-de-Marne (8,000). The flagship club is Paris FC, currently at the top of L2. The PSG, whose association is located in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, remains, him, always attached to the District of Yvelines.

Why did you campaign for the creation of a District in Paris?

PHILIPPE SURMON. Each department has had a District for 40 years except Paris. It was not a normal situation especially since we had many promises from the presidents of the League of Paris. I remember a letter from Jean Verbeke (president from 1989 to 2004) telling us that we would have our District within 3 years. Claude Verduron (president from 2004 to 2012) promised it to us afterwards. There were also several legal proceedings. I think that the presidents of the League did not want the bosses of the Districts of 92, 93 and 94 to lose income. It was finally the Versailles Court of Appeal in March 2018 which considered that the FFF should create this District for Paris. Today is the end of a long struggle. The Parisian licensees are finally represented.

What does this change for licensees from Parisian clubs?

At the departmental level (from the 9th national level for seniors), the clubs headquartered in Paris intramural will compete and will no longer be forced to travel several tens of kilometers to go to the depths of Val-de -Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis or Hauts-de-Seine to play matches. Travel will be easier and more comfortable. The same goes for young people and their parents. All the meetings will take place in the capital with a few exceptions such as Bobigny (La Butte complex) or the interdepartmental park of Choisy-le-Roi.

“One of my dreams would be to see the renovated Pershing stadium”

Training and playing in Paris is already complicated due to the lack of available stadiums. With this new District, meetings will be even more numerous in the capital every weekend …

We are used to managing this situation with few available slots. One of my dreams would be to see the Pershing stadium (located in the Bois de Vincennes) renovated. I spoke about it to Pierre Rabadan (sports assistant at the mayor of Paris) during a meeting. It would be a great step forward for Parisian football.

What will be your first action as president?

We will first take care of finding a seat. The elected officials of the mayor of Paris have supported us for 4 terms. We will ask them for help.

When will the competitions in the new District start?

We want to be operational by September 2021 if the health situation improves. We will be holding several general assemblies to develop the new departmental championships at the start of the school year.

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