The Championnat National (English: French National Championship), commonly referred to as simply National or Division 3, is 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 National 2, the fourth division of French football.

Championnat National
Organising bodyFFF
Founded1993; 31 years ago (1993)
Number of teams18
Level on pyramid3
Promotion toLigue 2
Relegation toChampionnat National 2
Domestic cup(s)Coupe de France
International cup(s)Europa League (via cups)
Current championsRed Star (3rd title)
Most championshipsRed Star (3 titles)
TV partnersCanal+ Sport
WebsiteOfficial site
Current: 2024–25 Championnat National

Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 34 games each, totalling 306 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.

The National was founded in 1993 by the French Football Federation and served 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 and semi-professional clubs or amateur clubs. 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 head-to-head 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 first and second place finisher are also promoted to the second division, while the six lowest placed teams are relegated to the Championnat National 2 and the four winners of the four groups from Championnat National 2 are promoted in their place until 2023–24 season.

Current clubs


For the 2024–25 season.

Stadia and locations

Club Location Venue Capacity
Ajaccio Ajaccio Stade François Coty 10,446
Bordeaux Bordeaux Matmut Atlantique 42,115
Bourg-Péronnas Bourg-en-Bresse Stade Marcel-Verchère 11,400
Châteauroux Châteauroux Stade Gaston Petit 17,173
Concarneau Concarneau Stade Francis-Le Blé
Stade du Moustoir
Dijon Dijon Stade Gaston Gérard 15,995
Le Mans Le Mans MMArena 25,000
Nancy Nancy Stade Marcel Picot 20,087
Orléans Orléans Stade de la Source 7,000
Paris 13 Atletico Paris (Paris 13) Stade Sébastien Charléty 20,000
Quevilly-Rouen Rouen Stade Robert Diochon 12,018
Rouen Rouen Stade Robert Diochon 12,108
Sochaux Montbéliard Stade Auguste Bonal 20,005
Versailles Paris (Paris 16) Stade Jean-Bouin 19,904
Valenciennes Valenciennes Stade du Hainaut 25,172

Championnat National table of honours

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)
1999–2000 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 Paris FC FC Bourg-Péronnas
2015–16 Strasbourg Orléans Amiens
2016–17 Châteauroux Quevilly Paris FC (Promotion Play-Off)
2017–18 Red Star (2) Béziers Grenoble
2018–19 Rodez Chambly Le Mans
2019–20 Pau[a] USL Dunkerque US Boulogne
2020–21 SC Bastia (2) Quevilly-Rouen Villefranche
2021–22 Laval Annecy Villefranche
2022–23 Concarneau Dunkerque Red Star
2023–24 Red Star (3) Martigues Chamois Niortais (not promoted)
2024–25 TBD TBD TBD
  1. ^ Championship not awarded due to season being terminated early.[1]


  1. ^ "FFF : Pas de titre en National, les Lyonnaises championnes" (in French). 11 May 2020.