France 3-1 West Germany (partially found footage of international football match; 1952)

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France's captain Roger Marche shakes hands with West German captain Fritz Walter prior to kick-off.

Status: Partially Found

On 5th October 1952, France hosted West Germany for an international football match. Occurring in front of 56,021 at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir, the encounter would see Les Bleus win 3-1, in what became the first international football match to be televised live in France.


Heading into the match, France had competed in three friendlies earlier that year, losing 1-0 to Sweden, and beating Portugal and Belgium 3-0 and 2-1 respectively.[1] Meanwhile, West Germany had beaten both Luxembourg and Republic of Ireland 3-0.[2] The France-Germany rivalry is one of the biggest in football history, with both boasting significant World Cup and European Championship success.[3] France have also won more matches between the two, although Germany has been more successful in competitive games.[3] Notably, France's semi-final win in EURO 2016 was its first competitive victory against Germany in 58 years.[3]

Earlier that year, RTF aired the 1952 Coupe de France Final, which marked the first live coverage of a football match in France.[4][5][6] The success of that broadcast convinced the French Football Federation that televised coverage of an international match featuring Les Bleus would assist in growing the sport.[6] Likely in response to a, 1,000 television sets were sold in France, with this increase in sales resulting in around 40,000 televisions belonging to French households.[6] The match was not the first time the French national football team competed in a televised match, however; the team had faced England on 3rd May 1947, which was televised live by the BBC.[7]

The Match

The game itself occurred on 5th October 1952, in front of 56,021 at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir.[8] The home side gained the lead after Joseph Ujlaki capitalised on a pass from André Strappe into the German box, winning a scrap between a few German defenders to make it 1-0.[8] 12 minutes later, West Germany equalised when Ottmar Walter received a pass that enabled him to score directly from the French goal.[8] In the second-half, both sides made numerous attempts on target, but it was France that secured the next goal, Thadée Cisowski receiving the ball from a German deflection that allowed him to score in the German box after 81 minutes.[8] Nine minutes later, France sealed the victory following a cross by Cisowski, which André Strappe used to fire a shot through a defender's legs into the goal to double his side's lead.[8]


Ultimately, the match was televised live in an era where telerecordings were rare until videotape was perfected in the late-1950s.[9] The broadcast and the uncut tape of the match have yet to resurface, although some newsreel footage and photos can be found online.[10]



Newsreel footage of the match.

Newsreel footage of the match.


See Also