Championnat National

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Championnat National
Championnat National.jpg
Country France
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1993
Number of teams 18
Level on pyramid 3
Promotion to Ligue 2
Relegation to Championnat de France Amateur
Domestic cup(s) Coupe de France
Coupe de la Ligue (select clubs)
International cup(s) Europa League (via domestic cups)
Current champions Red Star
Most championships Clermont Foot, Nîmes (2 titles)
Website Official site
2015–16 Championnat National

The Championnat de France National, commonly referred to as simply National or Division 3, serves as the third division of the French football league system behind Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. Contested by 18 clubs, the Championnat National operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Ligue 2 and the Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division of French football.

Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 34 games each, totalling 272 games in the season. Most games are played on Fridays and Saturdays, with a few games played during weekday evenings. Play is regularly suspended the last weekend before Christmas for two weeks before returning in the second week of January.

National was founded in 1993 by the French Football Federation and serves as a base league for clubs on the brink of becoming professional or falling to the amateur levels. The league is annually composed of professional, semi-professional, and amateur football clubs. The current champions are Red Star. The matches in the league attract on average between 2,500 and 6,000 spectators per match.

Competition format[edit]

There are 18 clubs in the Championnat National. During the course of a season, usually from August to May, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are 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 and promoted to Ligue 2. 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 or for relegation, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The second and third-place finisher are also promoted to the second division, while the four lowest placed teams are relegated to the Championnat de France Amateur and the four winners of the four groups from the Championnat de France amateur are promoted in their place.


Members for 2015–16[edit]

The following 18 clubs will compete in the Championnat National during the 2015–16 season.

in 2014–15
Founded First season of
current spell in
Amiens 00411th 1901 2012–13
Avranches 0049th 1897 2014–15
Belfort 004CFA Group B: 1st 1947 2015–16
Béziers 004CFA Group C: 1st 2007 2015–16
Boulogne 0047th 1898 2012–13
Chambly 00414th 1989 2014–15
Châteauroux 004Ligue 2: 19th 1883 2015–16
Colmar YYY10th 1920 2010–11
Consolat Marseille 01013th 1936 2014–15
Dunkerque 0046th 1919 2013–14
Épinal 00418th 1941 2014–15
Fréjus 0048th 2009 2009–10
Les Herbiers 004CFA Group D: 2nd 1932 2015-16
Orléans 004Ligue 2: 18th 1976 2015–16
Sedan 004CFA Group A: 1st 1919 2015–16
Strasbourg 0104th 1906 2013–14
Vendée Luçon 0105th 1924 2013–14
Vendée Poiré-sur-Vie 00412th 1954 2011–12

Championnat National table of honours[edit]

Season Group A Winner Group B Winner Other promoted teams
1993–94 En Avant de Guingamp LB Châteauroux Amiens SC and Perpignan FC
1994–95 FC Lorient SAS Épinal Stade Poitevin and CS Louhans-Cuiseaux
1995-96 Stade Briochin Sporting Toulon Var Association Troyes AC and AS Beauvais Oise
1996–97 ES Wasquehal Nîmes Olympique
Season Champions Runner Up Third place
1997–98 AC Ajaccio CS Sedan Ardennes US Créteil-Lusitanos (not promoted)
1998–99 CS Louhans-Cuiseaux US Créteil-Lusitanos Gazélec Ajaccio (not promoted)
1999-00 AS Beauvais Oise FC Martigues Angers SCO
2000–01 Grenoble Foot 38 Amiens SC FC Istres
2001–02 Clermont Foot Stade de Reims ASOA Valence and Toulouse FC (4 clubs promoted this season)
2002–03 Besançon Racing Club Angers SCO FC Rouen
2003–04 Stade de Reims Stade Brestois 29 Dijon FCO
2004–05 Valenciennes FC ASOA Valence (not promoted due to financial problems) FC Sète 34
2005–06 Chamois Niortais Tours FC FC Libourne-Saint-Seurin
2006–07 Clermont Foot (2) US Boulogne Angers SCO
2007–08 Vannes OC Tours FC Nîmes Olympique
2008–09 FC Istres Stade Lavallois AC Arles
2009–10 Evian Thonon Gaillard Stade de Reims ES Troyes AC
2010–11 SC Bastia Amiens SC En Avant de Guingamp
2011–12 Nîmes Olympique (2) Chamois Niortais Gazélec Ajaccio
2012–13 US Créteil-Lusitanos FC Metz CA Bastia
2013–14 US Orléans US Luzenac Gazélec Ajaccio
2014–15 Red Star F.C. Paris FC FC Bourg-Péronnas


External links[edit]