The spatial dynamic of five-a-side football in French cities

Room B
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
15.00 – 16.45

Several new sports and physical activities have emerged in the last decades. One of these, five-a-side football, has established itself as the second most popular form of football in France. By introducing numerous innovations, this specific variation of the football game has rapidly created an alternative form of sport consumption, alongside the offer of the Federation Française de Football (FFF). Five-a-side football’s growth generates meaningful transformations at different scales, especially in urban spaces. It justifies a further reading of sport and physical activities’ offer, including their locations. This presentation highlights the geographical logics of emergence and construction of five-a-side football and the distinct location of its facilities which differs from the federal one. These facilities which are mainly built around catchment area and are better adjusted to modern urban spaces’ issues reassess the place of sports and physical activities. Indeed, a geographic spread of five-a-side football within cities has been drawn by private operators and involves some areas where no other forms of football has occured until then. This positioning seems to be successful and has since led the FFF to adapt its offer and develop partnerships with five-a-side football companies. Conducted with analyses of the FFF files, completed by interviews with the main actors of the FFF and of five-a-side football commercial operators, this presentation explores the evolution of the football diversity and displays its consequences within the cities.

Vincent Gaubert
vincent-gaubert [at]

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