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 20 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 38 games each totaling 380 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 Nîmes. The matches in the league attract on average between 2,500 and 6,000 spectators per match.
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