Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘No jeans’ rule causes boules blues in France

‘No jeans’ rule causes boules blues in France

People play petanque at the Palais Royal garden in Paris on July 22, 2014. AFP
People play petanque at the Palais Royal garden in Paris on July 22, 2014. AFP

‘No jeans’ rule causes boules blues in France

Must one be nattily dressed to play petanque? Rules outlawing the wearing of jeans during the national championship in France have provoked an outcry from fans of the famed Gallic game.

Often played in parks, traditionally with a glass of wine or aniseed liquor in hand, petanque or boules is usually an informal affair in France that unites young and old from all social backgrounds.

But as the national federation eyes recognition of the game as an Olympic sport, it has decided serious players need to smarten up and present a more dignified image in competitions.

“We are simply applying a rule that has existed since 1990,” a spokesperson from the national petanque federation, the FFPJP, said on Tuesday amid signs of rebellion from amateurs across the country.

Jeans are already banned at all stages of the national boules championship, but the dress code was previously ignored during the qualifying stages.

The federation is now insisting on non-denim trousers or smart shorts.

“Blue jeans are the most subject to the effects of fashion, of being badly maintained, ripped, unwashed or not very clean,” the federation official said.

“For a long time petanque was a leisure pursuit, everyone did as they wanted, but now it’s a high-level sport.”

“It’s a question of image. We feel we are being watched ahead of the 2024 Olympics [in Paris] and a federation that can’t get people to respect its rules doesn’t look good,” the official added.

The diktat looks set to be fiercely contested by the rebellious French.

An association of players has organised a jeans-only competition on May 1 in the southern city of Nimes to protest against the change.

Other players have been spreading an image online of the president of a club in Gy in eastern France who turned up to a competition dressed as a clown.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget