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FFF confirms venues for temporary spell away from Stade de France

Featured image credit: Tim L. Productions on Unsplash

The French Football Federation (FFF) has announced the venues that will host national team matches during the 2023-24 season, with the Stade de France set to be off limits during the Rugby World Cup and in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.

It was announced in February that the Stade de France would not be available for sporting and entertainment events for the entirety of 2024 heading into the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With the Stade de France also hosting matches during the Rugby World Cup from September 8 to October 28, the FFF has been forced to move matches away from the traditional home of French football next season.

A total of 31 cities applied to host an international match, with 16 having been selected to stage either a men’s, women’s or U21 fixture.

Parc des Princes (pictured), home of Paris Saint-Germain, will host the men’s national team’s UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on September 7, before Lille’s Stade Pierre-Mauroy hosts a friendly match on October 17.

The Stade de France will be available to host the Euro 2024 qualifier against Gibraltar on November 18, but in March 2024, Lyon’s Groupama Stadium and Marseille’s Orange Vélodrome will host a match each. These matches will either be friendlies or Euro 2024 play-off matches, if France fails to qualify automatically for the tournament.

In June 2024, two more friendly matches will be played at Bordeaux’s Matmut Atlantique and Metz’s Stade Saint-Symphorien.

France’s women’s national team will play Nations League matches at Valenciennes’ Stade du Hainaut, Reims’ Stade August-Delaune and Rennes’ Roazhon Park, while Sochaux’s Stade Auguste Bonal will host a match in February. Stade Saint-Symphorien and Saint-Étienne’s Stade Geoffroy-Guichard will then host Euro 2025 qualifiers in April and June, respectively.

France’s U21 team will play matches in Nancy, Grenoble, Le Havre, Châteauroux and Sochaux.

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) will also be required to find alternative venues for the entirety of the country’s 2024 Six Nations campaign. The Stade de France has never been without Six Nations rugby since opening in January 1998.