Gabriel Hanot


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Sir Stanley Rous (1895—1986) football referee and administrator


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A French footballer who played as a full back or winger, winning a first French cap at 19, but after a twelfth international was injured piloting a plane. Following World War II he became both football journalist and national team coach. After a 5–1 home defeat to Spain he wrote anonymously in the French sporting newspaper L'Équipe (see Équipe, L') demanding the coach's dismissal, and then resigned the coach position, following his own recommendation. In 1955, aged 65, and as football editor of L'Équipe, aided by the paper's editor Jacques Goddet and two other journalism colleagues including Jacques Ferran (b. 1920), he led the launch of the European football club tournament, the European Cup, remodelled and renamed the UEFA Champions League in 1992. Ferran recalls that Englishman Sir Stanley Rous was talking of a cup linked to cities and trade fairs, and so the leading European clubs hinted at a breakaway, which led to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) insisting that UEFA organize the new European-wide competition.

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