Ligue 2

For other uses, see Ligue 2 (disambiguation).
Ligue 2
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 Nancy
Most championships Le Havre and Nancy (5 titles)
TV partners beIN Sport
Website Official site
2016–17 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 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 determine 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.

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

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

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. While a decision was originally made that during the season 2015-2016 only the best two teams would be promoted to Ligue 1 and the last two teams would be relegated to the National,[3] that decision was later overturned by an appeal to the Conseil d'État[4] and the French Football Federation.[5][6]

Ligue 2 members (2016–17 season)

Club Location Venue Capacity
Ajaccio Ajaccio Stade François Coty 10,660
Amiens Amiens Stade de la Licorne 12,097
Auxerre Auxerre Stade de l'Abbé-Deschamps 21,379
Bourg-en-Bresse Bourg-en-Bresse Stade Marcel-Verchère 1 11,400
Brest Brest Stade Francis-Le Blé 15,097
Clermont Foot Clermont-Ferrand Stade Gabriel Montpied 11,980
Gazélec Ajaccio Ajaccio Stade Ange Casanova 6,000
Laval Laval Stade Francis Le Basser 18,607
Le Havre Le Havre Stade Océane 25,000
Lens Lens Stade Bollaert-Delelis 38,223
Nîmes Nîmes Stade des Costières 18,482
Niort Niort Stade René Gaillard 10,886
Orléans Orléans Stade de la Source 7,000
Red Star Saint-Ouen Stade Jean-Bouin 2 20,000
Reims Reims Stade Auguste Delaune 21,684
Sochaux Montbéliard Stade Auguste Bonal 20,000
Strasbourg Strasbourg Stade de la Meinau 29,230
Tours Tours Stade de la Vallée du Cher 16,247
Troyes Troyes Stade de l'Aube 21,684
Valenciennes Valenciennes Stade du Hainaut 25,172

Previous winners

Top goalscorers

Season Goals Top Scorer(s) Club(s)
54 goalsJean NicolasFC Rouen
30 goalsJean NicolasFC Rouen
45 goalsJean NicolasFC Rouen
30 goalsViktor SpechtlRC Lens
29 goalsHugo LammanaCA Paris
39 goalsHarold Newell & PlanquesUS Boulogne & Toulouse FC (1937)
World War II
27 goalsCampigliaSCO Angers
45 goalsJozef "Pépé" HumpalFC Sochaux
28 goalsHenri ArnaudeauGirondins de Bordeaux
41 goalsCamille LibarGirondins de Bordeaux
27 goalsEdmund HaanNîmes Olympique
23 goalsThadée CisowskiFC Metz
34 goalsEgon JonssonStade Français football
27 goalsBror MellbergToulouse FC (1937)
36 goalsJean CourteauxRC Paris
40 goalsPetrus Van RhijnValenciennes Football Club
32 goalsPetrus Van RhijnValenciennes Football Club
27 goalsFernand DevlaeminckLille OSC
29 goalsEgon JonssonFC Nancy
31 goalsPetrus Van RhijnStade Français football
29 goalsCorbelFC Rouen
28 goalsCasimir KozakiewiczRC Strasbourg
21 goalsSerge MasnaghettiValenciennes Football Club
24 goalsErnesto GianellaAS Béziers (football)
21 goalsAbderrahmane SoukhaneLe Havre AC
22 goalsAnton GroschulskiRed Star Saint-Ouen
30 goalsPierre FerrazziGrenoble Foot 38
23 goalsEtienne SansonettiSC Bastia
26 goalsJacques BonnetAvignon Football 84
55 goalsGérard GrizettiAS Angoulême
21 goalsRobert BlancFC Nancy
20 goals
20 goals
20 goals
Nord : Yves Triantafyllos
Centre : Robert Blanc
Sud : Emmanuel Koum
US Boulogne
Limoges Foot 87
AS Monaco
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
22 goals
31 goals
Gr. A : Eugeniusz Faber
Gr. B : Gérard Tonnel
RC Lens
Troyes AC
26 goals
24 goals
Gr. A : Erwin Wilczek
Gr. B : Nestor Combin
Valenciennes Football Club
Red Star Saint-Ouen
25 goals
28 goals
Gr. A : Georges Tripp
Gr. B : Jean Martinez
Stade Laval
AS Nancy
22 goals
25 goals
Gr. A : Bozidar Antic
Gr. B : Marc Berdoll
SM Caen
SCO Angers
30 goals
24 goals
Gr. A : Delio Onnis
Gr. B : Albert Gemmrich
AS Monaco
RC Strasbourg
19 goals
23 goals
Gr. A : Giudicelli
Gr. B : Jean-Claude Garnier
Gr. B : Pierre-Antoine Dossevi
Olympique Alès
USL Dunkerque
Tours FC
24 goals
26 goals
Gr. A : Antoine Trivino
Gr. B : Patrice Martet
FC Gueugnon
Stade Brestois
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
32 goals
22 goals
Gr. A : Robert Pintenat
Gr. B : Marcel Campagnac
Toulouse FC
Sporting Club Abbeville
18 goals
25 goals
Gr. A : Marc Pascal
Gr. B : Zarko Olaveric
Gr. B : Isiaka Ouattara
Olympique de Marseille
Le Havre AC
FC Mulhouse
28 goals
18 goals
Gr. A : Wlodzimierz Lubanski
Gr. B : Christian Dalger
Valenciennes Football Club
Sporting Toulon Var
23 goals
23 goals
Gr. A : Mario Relmy
Gr. B : Omar Da Fonseca
Limoges Foot 87
Tours FC
27 goals
28 goals
Gr. A : John Eriksen
Gr. B : Jorge Dominguez
FC Mulhouse
OGC Nice
22 goals
29 goals
Gr. A : Jean-Marc Valadier
Gr. B : Eugene N'Goy Kabongo
Montpellier HSC
RC Paris
22 goals
21 goals
Gr. A : Zvonko Kurbos
Gr. B : Gaspard N'Gouete
FC Mulhouse
SC Bastia
18 goals
26 goals
Gr. A : Jean-Pierre Orts
Gr. A : Stéphane Paille
Gr. B : Patrice Martet
Olympique Lyonnais
FC Sochaux
FC Rouen
22 goals
27 goals
Gr. A : Roberto Cabanas
Gr. B : Robby Langers
Stade Brestois
US Orléans
26 goals
21 goals
Gr. A : Didier Monczuk
Gr. B : Jean-Pierre Orts
RC Strasbourg
FC Rouen
23 goals
19 goals
Gr. A : Didier Monczuk
Gr. B : Christophe Lagrange
RC Strasbourg
SCO Angers
22 goals
21 goals
Gr. A : Jean-Pierre Orts
Gr. B : Didier Monczuk
FC Rouen
RC Strasbourg
21 goals
18 goals
Gr. A : Franck Priou
Gr. B : Jean-Pierre Orts
AS Cannes
FC Rouen
27 goalsYannick Le SauxStade Briochin
31 goalsTony CascarinoOlympique Marseille
30 goalsTony CascarinoOlympique Marseille
23 goalsSamuel MichelFC Sochaux
20 goalsReginald RayLe Mans Union Club 72
20 goalsHamed DialloStade Laval
17 goalsAmara TraoréFC Gueugnon
21 goalsFrancileudo SantosFC Sochaux
18 goalsHamed DialloAmiens SC
20 goalsCédric FauréToulouse FC
17 goalsDavid SuarezAmiens SC
24 goalsBakari KonéFC Lorient
16 goalsJean-Michel Lesage & Steve SavidanLe Havre AC & Valenciennes Football Club
18 goalsJean-Michel Lesage & Kandia TraoreLe Havre AC & Le Havre AC
28 goalsGuillaume HoarauLe Havre AC
18 goalsGrégory ThilUS Boulogne
21 goalsOlivier GiroudTours FC
23 goalsSebastián RibasDijon FCO
15 goalsCédric FauréReims
23 goalsMustapha YatabaréEA Guingamp
69 goalsCathy BarryFC Metz
18 goalsMickaël Le BihanLe Havre AC
21 goalsFamara DiedhiouClermont Foot


  • 11 minutes: the time it took Sebastian Ribas (Dijon FCO, 2010–11 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:
77 points (1994–95 season) or 1.833 points per game (42 games) for Toulouse FC.
72 points (1995–96 season, 22 teams involved): or 1.71 points per game for Stade Lavallois.
69 points (2006–07 season, 20 teams involved): or 1.82 points per game for Amiens SC.
  • 128 goals: The number of goals scored in 40 games ( a single season) by SCO Angers in 40 games, (1968–69 season).
  • 55 goals: the number of goals scored in a season by Gerard Grizzetti, forward playing for AS Angoulême (1969).
  • 41 seasons: Number of seasons played by the RCFC Besançon and AS Cannes.
  • The fastest goal in the history of Ligue 2 was marked on 26 September 2009 by Remi Nantais Maréval against Nîmes Olympique. After eight seconds of play, the ball crossed the goal line of Nicolas Puydebois.


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


External links

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