The French Football League (LFP) has announced today (Thursday) that its Trophée des Champions match will take place in Israel for the first time later this year.

Tel Aviv’s 29,400-seat Bloomfield Stadium will host the match, which is contested by the winners of the previous season’s Ligue 1 and Coupe de France, on August 1. The stadium serves as the home of Tel Aviv’s three professional football clubs and is also used to stage Israeli national team matches.

The LFP traditionally stages the Trophée des Champions outside of France but COVID-19 meant that the 2020-21 match took place at Stade Bollaert-Delelis, home of Ligue 1 club RC Lens, on January 13. The game was last held in France in 2008 when Bordeaux’s Stade Chaban-Delmas played host.

The 2020-21 match had been due to take place in the Ivory Coast back in August but the pandemic forced the LFP into a rethink. The match resulted in a 2-1 win for Paris Saint-Germain against Olympique de Marseille.

The LFP has teamed up with COMTEC Group to take the 2021-22 match to Israel. COMTEC Group has helped deliver Euroleague Basketball tournaments in Tel Aviv and Athens, as well as other sports events in Israel.

Mathieu Ficot, deputy director general of the LFP, said: “The international development of Ligue 1 Uber Eats remains one of the priorities of the LFP. Our goal is to always better expose French clubs internationally, to raise awareness of Ligue 1 Uber Eats abroad and in particular in the Middle East. This collaboration with COMTEC Group reinforces our desire to promote French professional football in a key region for its development.”

Daniel Benaim, founder and chief executive of COMTEC Group, added: “We will make this match a memorable one for the Israeli public and fans around the world. We are convinced that this event will be the start of an exciting and fruitful collaboration between COMTEC Group and the LFP, not only for 2021, but also for the years to come.”

The LFP has taken the Trophée des Champions to a number of countries in recent years. The 2019 and 2018 matches were staged at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre, with China also playing host in 2014 at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing. The Canadian city of Montreal has staged the event twice at the Stade Olympique and Stade Saputo, respectively, in 2009 and 2015.

The Trophée des Champions has also been taken to the Stade de Tanger in Morocco twice, in 2011 and 2017. Stade de l’Amitié in Libreville, Gabon, played host in 2013, while Africa was also the destination in 2010 at the Hamadi Agrebi Stadium in Tunis, Tunisia.

In 2012, the Trophée des Champions headed to the United States at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, while its sole European outing outside France came in 2016 at the Wörthersee Stadion in Klagenfurt, Austria.

Image: מחסל האגדות/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size