IFAF Elections: Meet the Candidates – Pierre Trochet (France)

Pierre Trochet has been nominated by the French Federation of American Football (FFFA) to run for president of International Federation of American Football with the IFAF elections are set to take place on December 11.

Trochet’s nomination to run for president comes after a stellar performance in France where, believe it or not, one of his biggest achievements came when there was no football. COVID-19 cast a long gloomy shadow over the FFFA and France, a country that still hasn’t seen domestic football since the first half of 2019. Still, Trochet was busy during this time, first negotiating a new deal that would ensure the TV broadcasting of the Division 1 Championship in France, putting it on the big stage and offering new possibilities for growth. This, along with him extricating the federation out of a financial crisis in 2018 and then going on to win the European Championship in the same year (among many other achievements) led him to be the obvious choice for nomination as president of IFAF with Richard MacLean stepping away.

Trochet is a football person first and foremost. He began playing flag football when he was six years old in Chateauroux, France, with the Orcs. He continued on to tackle football and later enjoyed a French National Championship with the Amiens Spartans and even had a short stint with the Danube Dragons in Austria, as an offensive lineman.

While most choose to retire or go into coaching in their home nations, Trochet chose to pursue a slightly different path in France and eventually rose to serve as the FFFA Head of Education between 2015-2018 and is currently the Director of Development.

Trochet comments on his motivations:

“For me it’s about a true passion for the game that gave me so much, as a human being, as a player and as a manager. I think a lot of positive steps have been taken to unite IFAF again. I want to share with my fellow football managers a renewed vision, to bring energy on the table and lead us toward, what I believe will be, a bright future. I have met so many coaches, refs, managers and players from our sport over the last decade, I want to serve the football community the best way I can.”

Trochet has learnt a lot from his time in France and, at a time where IFAF is being challenged to grow, feels he can bring his expertise to the international table:

“The FFFA has a long history of football. We were one of the founding nations in Europe. We will celebrate our 40th anniversary next year. We’ve fought for having national events, flag football back on the international level, we won the 2017 World Games and Euro Championship 2018 in tackle football; all with preserving our budget, improving our governance, connecting with national sport organizations (French Olympic Committee, Sports Ministry). IFAF has a lot of these goals at the international level. I will use this experience to also be able to answer the daily challenges of our members.

“I want flag football to have full IOC [International Olympic Committee] recognition and convince the IOC that we can be a part of Olympics events; building assets on which IFAF can grow. We need to help the continent with their leadership and not leave any country behind. Support our staff, refs and players to improve the game and keep it safe and fun. IFAF, as an international federation, has many requests to answer, but we will have to decide about priorities and go from a small victory to the next one. This is only a first down, not the touchdown yet.”

For many though, the elephant in the room seems to be the European League of Football (ELF). In many people’s eyes, IFAF has not produced the level of growth that Europeans desire, something which ELF is offering. Communication between the two has been limited, to put it mildly.

Trochet wants to change this but remains unsure of the relationship between the two going forward:

“I am not aware of any relationship that can or cannot exist between ELF and IFAF. Like every international sports governance body, IFAF aims to lead and federate American football and flag football worldwide. So, we need to talk. Having a dialogue is a must-do; not having one is probably the worst option. What common ground or not can we find with the discussion? I don’t have a clue at the moment.”

Pierre Trochet has shown what he can do in France with limited resources. His resumè speaks for itself. The prospect of the same level of growth with the far reaching IFAF is exciting. Let us hope that IFAF’s HQ remains in Paris and Trochet adds to an exciting time in international football.


Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.