Ligue 2

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For the Ivory Coast league with the same name, see Ligue 2 (Côte d'Ivoire).
Ligue 2
Ligue 2 logo.svg
Country France
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1933
Number of teams 20
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to Ligue 1
Relegation to Championnat National
Domestic cup(s) Coupe de France
Coupe de la Ligue
International cup(s) Europa League (via domestic cups)
Current champions Troyes
TV partners beIN Sport
Website Official site
2015–16 Ligue 2

Ligue 2 (French pronunciation: ​[liɡ dø]), formerly known as Division 2, is a French professional football league. The league serves as the second division of French football and is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), the other being Ligue 1, the country's top football division. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with both Ligue 1 and the third division Championnat National. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 games each totaling 380 games in the season. Most games are played on Fridays and Mondays, with a few games played during weekday and weekend evenings. Play is regularly suspended the last weekend before Christmas for two weeks before returning in the second week of January.

Ligue 2 was founded a year after the creation of the first division in 1933 under the name Division 2 and has served as the second division of French football ever since. The name lasted until 2002 before switching to its current name. Since the league is a part of the LFP, it allows clubs who are on the brink of professionalism to become so. However, if a club suffers relegation to the Championnat National, its professional status can be revoked temporarily until they return to Ligue 2. The current champions are Metz who will be returning to Ligue 1 in 2014-15.

Ligue 2, alongside its first division counterpart, is generally regarded[by whom?] as competently run, with good planning of fixtures, complete and consistently enforced rules, timely resolution of issues, and adequate escalation procedures of judicial disputes to national or international institutions.


Division 2 champions (Pre-WWII)
Season Winner
1933–34 Red Star Saint-Ouen
1934–35 CS Metz
1935–36 Rouen
1936–37 Lens
1937–38 Le Havre
1938–39 Red Star Saint-Ouen

The second division of French football was established in 1933, one year after the creation of the all-professional first division. The inaugural season of the competition consisted of the six clubs who were relegated following the 1932–33 National season, as well as many of the clubs who opposed the creation of the first division the previous season. Clubs such as Strasbourg, RC Roubaix, and Amiens SC all played in the second division's debut season despite having prior grievances with the subjective criteria needed to become professional and play in the first division. The first year of the second division consisted of twenty-three clubs and were divided into two groups (Nord and Sud). Fourteen of the clubs were inserted into the Nord section, while the remaining nine were placed in Sud. Following the season, the winner of each group faced each other to determined which club would earn promotion. On 20 May 1934, the winner of the Nord group, Red Star Saint-Ouen, faced Olympique Alès, the winner of the Sud group. Red Star were crowned the league's inaugural champions following a 3–2 victory. Despite losing, Alès was also promoted to the first division and they were followed by Strasbourg and Mulhouse, who each won a pool championship, after the first division agreed to expand its teams to 16.

Due to several clubs merging, folding, or losing their professional status, the federation turned the second division into a 16-team league and adopted the single-table method for the 1934–35 season. Due to the unpredictable nature of French football clubs, the following season, the league increased to 19 clubs and, two years later, increased its allotment to 25 teams with the clubs being divided into four groups. Because of World War II, football was suspended by the French government and the Ligue de Football Professionnel. Following the end of the war, the second division developed stability. Due to the increase in amateur clubs, the league intertwined professional and amateur clubs and allowed the latter to become professional if they met certain benchmarks. In 2002, the league changed its name from Division 2 to Ligue 2.

In November 2014, the presidents of Caen and Nîmes were amongst several arrested on suspicion of match fixing. The arrests followed a 1–1 draw between Caen and Nîmes in May 2014, a result very beneficial for each club.[1][2]

Competition format[edit]

There are 20 clubs in Ligue 2. 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 38 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 1. 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 first division, while the three lowest placed teams are relegated to the Championnat National and the top three teams from National are promoted in their place. For the season 2015-2016 the best two teams will be promoted in Ligue 1 and the last two teams will be relegated in National.[3]

Members of Ligue 2 (2015–16 season)[edit]

Club Location Venue Capacity
Ajaccio Ajaccio Stade François Coty 10,660
Auxerre Auxerre Stade de l'Abbé-Deschamps 21,379
Bourg-en-Bresse Bourg-en-Bresse Stade Marcel-Verchère1 11,400
Brest Brest Stade Francis-Le Blé 15,097
Clermont Foot Clermont-Ferrand Stade Gabriel Montpied 11,980
Créteil Créteil Stade Dominique Duvauchelle 12,050
Dijon Dijon Stade Gaston Gérard 16,098
Évian Annecy Parc des Sports 15,660
Laval Laval Stade Francis Le Basser 18,607
Le Havre Le Havre Stade Océane 25,000
Lens Lens Stade Bollaert-Delelis 35,000
Metz Metz Stade Saint-Symphorien 24,500
Nancy Tomblaine Stade Marcel Picot 20,087
Nîmes Nîmes Stade des Costières 18,482
Niort Niort Stade René Gaillard 10,886
Paris Paris Stade Sébastien Charléty 20,000
Red Star Saint-Ouen Stade Pierre Brisson2 10,178
Sochaux Montbéliard Stade Auguste Bonal 20,000
Tours Tours Stade de la Vallée du Cher 16,247
Valenciennes Valenciennes Stade du Hainaut 25,172

Previous winners[edit]

Top goalscorers[edit]

Year Goals Top scorer(s) Club(s)
1934 54 goals Jean Nicolas FC Rouen
1935 30 goals Jean Nicolas FC Rouen
1936 45 goals Jean Nicolas FC Rouen
1937 30 goals Viktor Spechtl RC Lens
1938 29 goals Hugo Lammana CA Paris
1939 39 goals Harold Newell
US Boulogne
Toulouse FC (1937)
World War II
1946 27 goals Campiglia SCO Angers
1947 45 goals Jozef "Pépé" Humpal FC Sochaux
1948 28 goals Henri Arnaudeau Girondins de Bordeaux
1949 41 goals Camille Libar Girondins de Bordeaux
1950 27 goals Edmund Haan Nîmes Olympique
1951 23 goals Thadée Cisowski FC Metz
1952 34 goals Egon Jonsson Stade Français football
1953 27 goals Bror Mellberg Toulouse FC (1937)
1954 36 goals Jean Courteaux RC Paris
1955 40 goals Petrus Van Rhijn Valenciennes Football Club
1956 32 goals Petrus Van Rhijn Valenciennes Football Club
1957 27 goals Fernand Devlaeminck Lille OSC
1958 29 goals Egon Jonsson FC Nancy
1959 31 goals Petrus Van Rhijn Stade Français football
1960 29 goals Corbel FC Rouen
1961 28 goals Casimir Kozakiewicz RC Strasbourg
1962 21 goals Serge Masnaghetti Valenciennes Football Club
1963 24 goals Ernesto Gianella AS Béziers (football)
1964 21 goals Abderrahmane Soukhane Le Havre AC
1965 22 goals Anton Groschulski Red Star Saint-Ouen
1966 30 goals Pierre Ferrazzi Grenoble Foot 38
1967 23 goals Etienne Sansonetti SC Bastia
1968 26 goals Jacques Bonnet Avignon Football 84
1969 55 goals Gérard Grizetti AS Angoulême
1970 21 goals Robert Blanc FC Nancy
1971 20 goals
20 goals
20 goals
Nord : Yves Triantafyllos
Centre : Robert Blanc
Sud : Emmanuel Koum
US Boulogne
Limoges Foot 87
AS Monaco
1972 20 goals
28 goals
40 goals
Gr. A : Pierre Pleimelding
Gr. B : Yegba Maya Joseph
Gr. C : Marc Molitor
Troyes AC
Valenciennes Football Club
RC Strasbourg
1973 22 goals
31 goals
Gr. A : Eugeniusz Faber
Gr. B : Gérard Tonnel
RC Lens
Troyes AC
1974 26 goals
24 goals
Gr. A : Erwin Wilczek
Gr. B : Nestor Combin
Valenciennes Football Club
Red Star Saint-Ouen
1975 25 goals
28 goals
Gr. A : Georges Tripp
Gr. B : Jean Martinez
Stade Laval
AS Nancy
1976 22 goals
25 goals
Gr. A : Bozidar Antic
Gr. B : Marc Berdoll
SM Caen
SCO Angers
1977 30 goals
24 goals
Gr. A : Delio Onnis
Gr. B : Albert Gemmrich
AS Monaco
RC Strasbourg
1978 19 goals
23 goals
Gr. A : Giudicelli
Gr. B : Jean-Claude Garnier
Gr. B : Pierre-Antoine Dossevi
Olympique Alès
USL Dunkerque
Tours FC
1979 24 goals
26 goals
Gr. A : Antoine Trivino
Gr. B : Patrice Martet
FC Gueugnon
Stade Brestois
1980 16 goals
19 goals
Gr. A : Alain Polaniok
Gr. A : Bernard Ferrigno
Gr. B : Jacky Vergnes
Gr. B : Robert Pintenat
Stade de Reims
Tours FC
Montpellier HSC
Toulouse FC
1981 32 goals
22 goals
Gr. A : Robert Pintenat
Gr. B : Marcel Campagnac
Toulouse FC
Sporting Club Abbeville
1982 18 goals
25 goals
Gr. A : Marc Pascal
Gr. B : Zarko Olaveric
Gr. B : Isiaka Ouattara
Olympique de Marseille
Le Havre AC
FC Mulhouse
1983 28 goals
18 goals
Gr. A : Wlodzimierz Lubanski
Gr. B : Christian Dalger
Valenciennes Football Club
Sporting Toulon Var
1984 23 goals
23 goals
Gr. A : Mario Relmy
Gr. B : Omar Da Fonseca
Limoges Foot 87
Tours FC
1985 27 goals
28 goals
Gr. A : John Eriksen
Gr. B : Jorge Dominguez
FC Mulhouse
OGC Nice
1986 22 goals
29 goals
Gr. A : Jean-Marc Valadier
Gr. B : Eugene N'Goy Kabongo
Montpellier HSC
RC Paris
1987 22 goals
21 goals
Gr. A : Zvonko Kurbos
Gr. B : Gaspard N'Gouete
FC Mulhouse
SC Bastia
1988 18 goals
26 goals
Gr. A : Jean-Pierre Orts
Gr. A : Stéphane Paille
Gr. B : Patrice Martet
Olympique Lyonnais
FC Sochaux
FC Rouen
1989 22 goals
27 goals
Gr. A : Roberto Cabanas
Gr. B : Robby Langers
Stade Brestois
US Orléans
1990 26 goals
21 goals
Gr. A : Didier Monczuk
Gr. B : Jean-Pierre Orts
RC Strasbourg
FC Rouen
1991 23 goals
19 goals
Gr. A : Didier Monczuk
Gr. B : Christophe Lagrange
RC Strasbourg
SCO Angers
1992 22 goals
21 goals
Gr. A : Jean-Pierre Orts
Gr. B : Didier Monczuk
FC Rouen
RC Strasbourg
1993 21 goals
18 goals
Gr. A : Franck Priou
Gr. B : Jean-Pierre Orts
AS Cannes
FC Rouen
1994 27 goals Yannick Le Saux Stade Briochin
1995 31 goals Tony Cascarino Olympique Marseille
1996 30 goals Tony Cascarino Olympique Marseille
1997 23 goals Samuel Michel FC Sochaux
1998 20 goals Reginald Ray Le Mans Union Club 72
1999 20 goals Hamed Diallo Stade Laval
2000 17 goals Amara Traoré FC Gueugnon
2001 21 goals Francileudo Santos FC Sochaux
2002 18 goals Hamed Diallo Amiens SC
2003 20 goals Cédric Fauré Toulouse FC
2004 17 goals David Suarez Amiens SC
2005 24 goals Bakari Koné FC Lorient
2006 16 goals Jean-Michel Lesage Le Havre AC
Steve Savidan Valenciennes Football Club
2007 18 goals Jean-Michel Lesage Le Havre AC
Kandia Traore Le Havre AC
2008 28 goals Guillaume Hoarau Le Havre AC
2009 18 goals Grégory Thil US Boulogne
2010 21 goals Olivier Giroud Tours FC
2011 23 goals Sebastián Ribas Dijon FCO
2012 15 goals Cédric Fauré Reims
2013 23 goals Mustapha Yatabaré EA Guingamp
2014 23 goals Andy Delort & Mathieu Duhamel Tours FC & SM Caen


  • 11 minutes: the time it took Sebastian Ribas (Dijon FCO, 2010/2011 season) to score the fastest hat trick in the history of Ligue 2.
  • 5 times: the number of times Le Havre AC won the second division championship.
  • Number of points won by a team in a single season, without being able to promote to the Ligue 1:

o 77 points (1994-1995 season) or 1.833 points per game (42 games) for Toulouse FC.

o 72 points (1995-1996 season, 22 teams involved): or 1.71 points per game for Stade Lavallois.

o 69 points (2006-2007 season, 20 teams involved): or 1.82 points per game for Amiens SC.


Broadcaster Duration
beIN Sport 2012/13 - 2015/16
Eurosport 2010/11 - 2011/12
Eurosport & Numericable 2008/09 - 2009/10


  1. ^ "Marseille arrests and match-fixing probe rock French football". France 24. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Presidents of two French clubs arrested on match-fixing suspicions". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Signature d'une convention avec Gueugnon" (in French). Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Beauvais, lieu du principal stade de repli" (in French). 7 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 

External links[edit]