100697 | FRANCE & CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Soccer silver Plaque.
100697 | FRANCE & CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Soccer silver Plaque. Issued 1937 for the amateur match between France and Czechoslovakia on 11 April (47x63mm, 89.69 g, 12h). By A. Lafleur.
FÉDÉRATION FRANÇAISE / de FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION / INSTITUÉE le 7 AVRIL / – 1919 –, Victory standing left, holding wreath, palm frond, scroll, and olive branch, and resting hand upon basis with coat-of-arms to right / VIS ANIMI CVM CORPORE CRESCIT (the strength of the soul rises with that of the body), soccer scene; below, cartouche inscribed FRANCE-TCHÉCOSLOVAQUIE / (AMATEURS) / –TOURS– / 11 AVRIL 1937 in four lines and surmounted by soccer ball between laurel and oak branches. Edge: «hallmark» ARGENT.
Mint State. Light gray toning with matte surfaces; a few scattered marks and bruises in the fields, most notably on the obverse at the top.
In 1933, the current professional soccer league in France, Championnat de France de football, often more simply known as Ligue 1, was created. The following year, the Fédération française de football (FFF), formerly the Fédération française de football association (FFFA), created a championship for the numerous amateur teams around the nation, with the first contests being played in 1935. During pool play for the championship's third year in 1937, the French amateur team also participated in a friendly against the team from Czechoslovakia, the occasion for this plaque.
Of further interest, the designer of this plaque, Abel Lafleur, also designed the original World Cup, known then as the Jules Rimet Cup. At the time, FIFA rules stated that a winning country may keep the trophy following their third win, which Brazil did in 1970. The current rules allow for no such permanent awarding of the World Cup in order to protect it. Sadly, the original designed by Lafleur was stolen in Rio de Janeiro in 1983, never to be seen again and likely melted by the looters.