It was organised by the U.I.A.F.A. (Union internationale
amateur de football association) founded in March 1909 in Paris by the
A.F.A. (Amateur Football Association, England, founded in 1907 by a number
of clubs dissatisfied with the role of professional football within the F.A.),
the Č.S.F. (Český svaz footballový, Bohemia, which, like the A.F.A.,
had been denied F.I.F.A. membership at the 1908 congress in Vienna) and the
U.S.F.S.A. (Union des sociétés françaises de sports athlétiques, France,
which had left the F.I.F.A. after the 1908 congress out of disagreement with
the non-admittance of the A.F.A.). The first president of the U.I.A.F.A. was
Victor Schneider from Geneva, formerly a F.I.F.A. vice-president, who
represented the francophone clubs of Switzerland loath to renounce on
matches against U.S.F.S.A. member clubs. Some second level clubs from
Vienna had also toyed with
the idea of joining but eventually all remained with the Ö.F.V.
In February 1910 a rebel Belgian federation, the F.B.S.A. (Fédération Belge des Sports Athlétiques), joined the U.I.A.F.A. Later that year, the F.E.C.F. (Federación Española de Clubs de Foot-ball), a Catalan initiative vying for supremacy in Spain with the Unión Española de Clubs de Foot-ball, entered as well, together with "Austria"; in fact, this "Austrian" federation was the Z.F.P. (Związkiem Footballistów Polskich) from Galicia (then part of Cisleithanien, the Austrian half of the Habsburg Doppelmonarchie), a "federation" initiated by (and in fact only consisting of) Wisła Kraków, which joined the U.I.A.F.A. in December 1910; finally, at its January 1911 congress in Paris federations from Switzerland (L.S.S., Ligue Sportive Suisse), British East Africa (!) and "South America" were reportedly admitted as new U.I.A.F.A. members.
The U.I.A.F.A. started disintegrating when the U.S.F.S.A. joined the C.F.I. (Comité Français Interfédéral), by then established as the new French F.I.F.A. members, at the end of December 1912. At the beginning of 1913, both Spanish federations applied for F.I.F.A. membership, while the A.F.A. returned to the F.A. in 1914.
Apart from the original three founder members and to some extent the F.E.C.F.,
none of these federations commanded substantial support in their home countries.
The A.F.A. was joined by but a relatively small minority (less than one tenth)
of the amateur clubs in England, mostly based near London.
Note that the A.F.A. side should not be confused with the England Amateur side fielded by the F.A. at the time (which was evidently stronger). Hosts France had been the laughing stock of the continent ever since the 1908 Olympics; after a 2-1 win against Switzerland in March 1908 they went winless for more than three years and a half (in which they played fifteen matches, drawing one and losing the remainder, scoring 13 goals and conceding exactly 100; for these matches, France were represented by the U.S.F.S.A. until the end of 1908 and by the C.F.I. since 1909), before finally getting a win at the end of October 1911 – against Luxembourg.
It thus was no surprise Bohemia won the tournament; they had a strong side, which had only lost 0-4 at home to the full England side in June 1908 (Austria and Hungary had suffered much heavier losses), and the Slavia club side had made a name for itself across the continent before leaving F.I.F.A.
The football tournament at the Roubaix exposition is sometimes, quite preposterously, termed a "first European championship"; however, the contemporary French press called it, somewhat more modestly, "Grand Tournoi Européen" or "Grand meeting de l'Exposition de Roubaix". If one insists on looking for a "first" European championship avant la lettre, the football tournament at the 1908 Olympics is the obvious choice.
All matches were played at the Stadium de l'Exposition de Roubaix. Participants (4): A.F.A. (England) Č.S.F. (Bohemia) U.S.F.S.A. "France A" (France) U.S.F.S.A. "Nord" (France) NB: U.S.F.S.A. "Nord" replaced L.S.S. (Switzerland), which had withdrawn; instead of the Č.S.F., "Hungary" had been announced as participants on April 11, but it is not clear to what federation this referred (no Hungarian federation has as yet been confirmed to have ever been U.I.A.F.A. members) and possibly this was due to a confusion, as it is unclear why the U.I.A.F.A. would have considered such a tournament without its strongest (and founding) member federation from Bohemia. Semifinals [May 25] U.S.F.S.A. "Nord" 1-2 A.F.A. [HT: 0-1] [May 28; att: 4,000; ref: Gardner (A.F.A.)] U.S.F.S.A. "France A" 1-4 Č.S.F. [HT: 1-4] [Chandelier 1-2; Bělka 0-1, 1-3, Košek 0-2, Medek 1-4] Final [May 29; att: 3,000; ref: Collier (U.S.F.S.A.)] A.F.A. 1-2 Č.S.F. [HT: 0-0] [N.N. 60; Košek 70, Bohata 73 (scorers according to [Bor 57]; according to French newspaper reports, Bělka scored both Bohemian goals); Pimmer saved penalty (83)] The original programme as announced in L'Auto on April 11 also included the following matches as part of the tournament: [May 7] Final of the "Championnat militaire d'association de l'U.S.F.S.A." U.S.F.S.A. "Nord" - A.F.A. member club to be announced [May 14] Swindon Torun FC (sic!) - Hull City This is rather peculiar as both Hull City and Swindon Town were regular F.A. member clubs and thus forbidden to play in any event involving the U.S.F.S.A. In fact, both clubs did play each other in Europe, one week earlier, in Brussels, Hull defeating Swindon 1-0 in a match for the De Decker Cup (which Hull would also win in 1912 and 1913) on May 7. In addition, the final of the "Championnat militaire d'association de l'U.S.F.S.A." was only played on May 14 in Le Havre; instead a semifinal for that tournament was the first ever match in the Stadium de l'Exposition de Roubaix; eventually the following matches were played: [May 7, inauguration du Stadium de l'Exposition de Roubaix] 43eme Infanterie Lille 12-0 23eme Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins Grasse U.S.F.S.A. "Nord" 3-1 Old Malvernians [HT: 2-0] [May 14] Roubaix XI 1-0 Lyford FC [HT: 1-0] Finally, on May 25, the Č.S.F. played a friendly against the Belgian U.I.A.F.A. members: [May 25; stade La Forestoise, Bruxelles] F.B.S.A. 0-6 Č.S.F. Reported Line-ups May 28 (L'Auto) [several spelling errors in source corrected]: U.S.F.S.A. "France A": Guy De Gastyne (RCF); Rouxel (SF), Auguste Schalbart (USC), Remy (ASF), Gaudin (RCF), Alphonse Nicol [c] (RCF), Carlos Bacrot (OL), Paul Chandelier (OL), Albert Eloy (OL), Raymond Dubly (RCR), Paul Voyeux (OL). NB: prior to the match, line-ups were announced with first Henri Moigneu (UST) and then Robert Diochon (FCR) instead of Gaudin, and with Emile Sartorius (RCF) instead of Dubly; Nicol was a naturalised Romanian born as Niculescu; ASF = AS Française; FCR = Football Club de Rouen; OL = Olympique Lillois; RCF = Racing Club de France; RCR = Racing Club de Roubaix; SF = Stade Français; USC = Union Sportive de Clichy; UST = Union Sportive Tourquennoise. Č.S.F.: Karel Pimmer (Slavia); Richard Veselý (Slavia), Miroslav Hajný (Smíchov); Karel Kovařovic (Slavia), František Rosmaisl-Majzl (Slavia), Emanuel Benda (Slavia); Ota Bohata (Slavia), Ladislav Medek (Slavia), Josef Bělka (Sparta), Jan Košek (Slavia), Miroslav Široký (Slavia); trainer: John Madden (Slavia; from Scotland). NB: Czech sources list Rudolf Holý (Slavia) instead of Kovařovic and Václav Pilát (Sparta) instead of Medek. Announced Line-Ups May 29 (L'Auto) [several spelling errors in source corrected]: A.F.A.: G.M.C. Taylor, J.C.D. Tetley, J.E. Hobbs, H.H. Milton, B.H. Farnfield, Y.L. Emell, Mouton Hing, C.E. Brisley, E. Melliar-Smith, A.H. Birgs, W.H. Gardner. NB: Melliar-Smith replaced W. Stebbing, injured in the match on May 25; a later match report mentioned Dickson and Wilson as players. Č.S.F.: Karel Pimmer (Slavia); Richard Veselý (Slavia), Miroslav Hajný (Smíchov); Karel Kovařovic (Slavia), František Rosmaisl-Majzl (Slavia), Emanuel Benda (Slavia); Ota Bohata (Slavia), Ladislav Medek (Slavia), Josef Bělka (Sparta), Jan Košek (Slavia), Miroslav Široký (Slavia); trainer: John Madden (Slavia; from Scotland). NB: Czech sources list Rudolf Holý (Slavia) instead of Bělka and Václav Pilát (Sparta) instead of Medek.
Sources included: [Bor 57], [HoK 97], [JeJ 05], L'Auto, Dunkerque-sports (both available through Gallica), various contemporary Dutch newspapers (available through Delpher), Chroniques bleues, http://historiawisly.pl, La Fútbolteca, Xtratime.org
Thanks to Matthieu Delahais and Jérôme Perani for additional information
Prepared and maintained by Karel Stokkermans for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Author: Karel Stokkermans
Last updated: 19 Jan 2023
(C) Copyright Karel Stokkermans and RSSSF 2021/23
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.