Division 1 Féminine
|Number of teams||12|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Division 2 Féminine|
|Domestic cup(s)||Challenge de France|
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League|
|Current champions||Olympique Lyonnais
|Most championships||Olympique Lyonnais (11 titles)|
|TV partners||France Télévisions
The Championnat de France de Football Féminin, primarily referred to as the Division 1 Féminine, is the highest division of women's football in France. The league is the female equivalent to the men's Ligue 1 and is contested by 12 clubs. Seasons run from September to June, with teams playing 22 games each totaling 132 games in the season. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played during weekday evenings. Play is regularly suspended after the second week in December before returning in the third week of January. The Division 1 Féminine is one of the top women's domestic leagues in Europe currently ranked third behind Germany's Fußball-Bundesliga and Sweden's Damallsvenskan.
The Division 1 Féminine was originally created in 1918 and was managed by the Fédération des Sociétés Féminines Sportives de France (FSFSF), a women's football organization in France that was led by women's football pioneer Alice Milliat. The league lasted for twelve seasons before disbanding following the prohibition of women's football. In 1975, women's football was officially re-instated and the Division 1 Féminine returned with funding from the French Football Federation. Beginning with the 2009–10 season, female football players in France began signing professional contracts with their clubs, most notably Olympique Lyonnais. Contracts were previously semi-professional. The defending champions are Olympique Lyonnais who won the league this season by one point.
There are 12 clubs in the Division 1 Féminine. During the course of a season, usually from September to June, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 22 games, though clubs are allowed to host "big" matches at the home venues of their male counterparts, such as when Paris Saint-Germain hosted Juvisy at the Parc des Princes during the 2009–10 season. The female leagues are ran similarly to the men's amateur leagues in France with teams receiving four points for a win and two points for a draw. One point is awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The two lowest placed teams are relegated to the Division 2 Féminine and the winners of the two groups in D2 Féminine are promoted in their place.
Between the years 2001–2004, the league adopted a playoff system. The top four clubs in the league table were inserted into a playoff table following the completion of the season with the winner being crowned champions. From 1974–1992, the league consisted of several groups with the winners of each group entering a playoff phase to determine the champion.
Currently, as determined by the UEFA women's coefficient, the top two teams in the Division 1 Féminine qualify for the UEFA Women's Champions League. As of today, the winner of the Challenge de France, the female equivalent of the Coupe de France, does not qualify for European competition.
Teams for 2013-2014
The following 12 clubs will compete in the Division 1 Féminine during the 2013–14 season.
|AS Muret||D2 Féminine (C) 1st||–||0||–|
|Hénin-Beaumont||D2 Féminine (A) 1st||1972||0||–|
|Nord Allier Yzeure||5||1999||0||–|
|Soyaux||D2 Féminine (B) 1st||1968||1||1983–84|
In addition to the winner's trophy and the individual winner's medal players receive, the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) awards the UNFP Female Player of the Year award to the top female player of the league. The current winner of the award is French international and Stade Briochin midfielder Eugénie Le Sommer. Following the 2009–10 season, the French Football Federation, who oversee the league, also began awarding a Player of the Year trophy. The jury panel who decided the winner consists of the twelve managers in the D1 Féminine.
- "UEFA Associations Coefficient Rankings". UEFA. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- "Statut pro pour ces dames". L'Equipe (L'Equipe). 6 March 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- "Foot féminin, la lueur d'un statut professionnel". FootAmat (FootAmat). 14 March 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- "Lyon pip Juvisy to French title". UEFA (UEFA). 14 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "Challenge de la meilleure joueuse de D1" (in French). French Football Federation. Retrieved 1 June 2010.