After playing for the Paris team Étoile des Deux Lacs, he became a referee. He retired following an incident during a match between AF Garenne-Doves and ES Benevolence, when he swallowed his whistle and broke two teeth on being struck full face by the ball.
He started his career as administrator in 1906 when he became president of Étoile des Deux Lacs, then secretary-general of the Comité français interfédéral (CFI), the ancestor of the French Football Federation. When the CFI became the French Football Federation in 1919, he remained as secretary-general.
As a member of FIFA, he sat on its board as deputy from 1924 until 1928. Along with Jules Rimet, he was an early architect of the FIFA World Cup. He was also a very early proponent of the European Champions Cup, as early as the 1920s.
He was largely responsible for the creation of the European Football Championship, the trophy of which is named after him, having first proposed it in 1927. The first tournament took place in 1960.