The French National Football Team Takes the Train… but Also Flies


To go to Metz and face Luxembourg this Wednesday evening (9:00 PM), Didier Deschamps’ Blues have (finally!) taken the TGV… but they will return to Paris by plane. Let’s try to explain why.

Taking the train is nothing extraordinary, except when it’s the French men’s football team! Accustomed to private planes to travel to the four corners of the country, the Blues this time took the train to go to Metz, the city hosting Wednesday night’s Euro 2024 preparation match against Luxembourg. A promise from the French Football Federation, chaired by Philippe Diallo, who announced last October that the train would be the mode of transport for the French teams whenever the journey is less than 3 hours – and of course, when the safety conditions are met. The journey between Paris and Metz taking less than 1h30 by TGV, the Blues boarded from the Massy station, in two privatized cars and on a very secure platform.

Yes, but… the return will be by plane! To prioritize recovery, according to the FFF, the Blues will return from Metz by air, on a journey shortened by barely 30 minutes. A rather surprising choice that will emit much more greenhouse gases. Over 300 kilometers, roughly the distance between Paris and Metz, the train will emit 0.88kg of CO2e per passenger and the plane 77.6kg of CO2e per passenger. To face Canada on Sunday, June 9 in Bordeaux, the Blues will also take the plane, both on the way there and back. Yet, the journey by train takes less than 3 hours. So, what’s the problem?

Taking the train at night is very complicated If the players return by plane, it is probably because Didier Deschamps and his staff do not want to see Kylian Mbappé and his teammates stay overnight in Metz and return on Thursday morning. Therefore, returning on Wednesday night is only possible by plane or bus. The latter option is obviously the most ecological and desirable, the journey taking 3 hours and 30 minutes – far from being a catastrophe for the players’ bodies. But it is probably too much for the staff, who have therefore opted for the air, even though the French team’s bus will make the journey empty.

Why not the train? According to SNCF, running a TGV at night is difficult due to maintenance work carried out on the tracks every night. According to clubs and authorities, it is also very expensive since it would not be a commercial train but a private one. If the French Football Federation and the Blues’ staff still have to make efforts to reduce the CO2 footprint, SNCF must also be agile enough to allow the wishes to be fulfilled.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
All our content is written by our authors, and the images come from Freepik or other authorized sites. We also have a premium license.