Championnat National

Championnat National
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 Strasbourg
Most championships Clermont Foot, Nîmes (2 titles)
Website Official site
2016–17 Championnat National

The Championnat de France National (English: French National Championship), 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 RC Strasbourg Alsace. The matches in the league attract on average between 2,500 and 6,000 spectators per match.

Competition format

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 2016–17

The following 18 clubs will compete in the Championnat National during the 2016–17 season.

in 2015–16
Founded First season of
current spell in
US Avranches8th18972014–15
CA Bastia13th - 2014–15
ASM Belfort14th19472015–16
AS Béziers10th20072015–16
US Boulogne7th18982012–13
FC Chambly9th19892014–15
LB Châteauroux5th18832015–16
US ConcarneauCFA Group D: 1st - 2016–17
Consolat Marseille4th19362014–15
US Créteil-LusitanosLigue 2: 19th - 2016–17
USL Dunkerque6th19192013–14
ÉvianLigue 2: 18th - 2016–17
Les Herbiers VF15th19322015-16
AS Lyon-DuchèreCFA Group B: 1st - 2016–17
Paris FCLigue 2: 20th - 2016–17
Pau FCCFA Group C: 1st - 2016–17
US QuevillyCFA Group A: 1st - 2016–17
CS Sedan Ardennes12th19192015–16

Championnat National table of honours

Season Group A Winner Group B Winner Other promoted teams
1993–94En Avant de GuingampLB ChâteaurouxAmiens SC and Perpignan FC
1994–95FC LorientSAS ÉpinalStade Poitevin and CS Louhans-Cuiseaux
1995-96Stade BriochinSporting Toulon VarAssociation Troyes AC and AS Beauvais Oise
1996–97ES WasquehalNîmes Olympique
Season Champions Runner Up Third place
1997–98AC AjaccioCS Sedan ArdennesUS Créteil-Lusitanos (not promoted)
1998–99CS Louhans-CuiseauxUS Créteil-LusitanosGazélec Ajaccio (not promoted)
1999-00AS Beauvais OiseFC MartiguesAngers SCO
2000–01Grenoble Foot 38Amiens SCFC Istres
2001–02Clermont FootStade de ReimsASOA Valence and Toulouse FC (4 clubs promoted this season)
2002–03Besançon Racing ClubAngers SCOFC Rouen
2003–04Stade de ReimsStade Brestois 29Dijon FCO
2004–05Valenciennes FCASOA Valence (not promoted due to financial problems)FC Sète 34
2005–06Chamois NiortaisTours FCFC Libourne-Saint-Seurin
2006–07Clermont Foot (2)US BoulogneAngers SCO
2007–08Vannes OCTours FCNîmes Olympique
2008–09FC IstresStade LavalloisAC Arles
2009–10Evian Thonon GaillardStade de ReimsES Troyes AC
2010–11SC BastiaAmiens SCEn Avant de Guingamp
2011–12Nîmes Olympique (2)Chamois NiortaisGazélec Ajaccio
2012–13US Créteil-LusitanosFC MetzCA Bastia
2013–14US OrléansUS LuzenacGazélec Ajaccio
2014–15Red Star F.C.Paris FCFC Bourg-Péronnas


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