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How Many Games In A Ligue 1 Season

There are a total of 34 games in a Ligue 1 season.

Teams face each other twice during a campaign – once at home and the other away. After every side has played all 34 of their fixtures then the team which has amassed most points at the end of the season is named as French league champion.

Has The Number Of Games Ever Changed In The Past?

Yes, the number of games in a Ligue 1 season has changed in the past.

When Ligue 1 was founded in 1930 and then proceeded with its league format two years later, each team played 38 games during a season, facing each other twice – home and away. This is a greater number of games than are played today.

Throughout the years in Ligue 1, the amount of teams in the league fluctuated numerous times across ninety years of the competition’s history.

1932-1933 20 clubs
1933-1934 14 clubs
1934-1939 16 clubs
1945-1946 18 clubs
1946-1947 20 clubs
1947-1958 18 clubs
1958-1963 20 clubs
1963-1965 18 clubs
1965-1968 20 clubs
1968-1970 18 clubs
1970-1997 20 clubs
1997-2002 18 clubs
2002-2023 20 clubs
2023- 18 clubs
Ligue 1 teams are likely to play two matches per week as required. This generally happens when a game is postponed due to weather problems or when a team is involved in both Ligue 1 matches and cup competitions including the Coupe De France.

Have Any Teams Failed To Play A Game?

Unexpected issues have resulted in some Ligue 1 teams forfeiting games.

For example, during the 2016/17 season, Bastia had to forfeit their game against Lyon after their game was abandoned at half-time following several pitch invasions.

Four years later at the beginning of the 2021/22 campaign, a similar incident occurred as Nice hosted Marseille with home side ultras encouraging a spat of riots.

In these cases, the punishment was predictable, the team responsible for causing the game to become unplayable, is judged to have lost the game 3-0 and the opposing team is awarded three points.

How Does The Ligue 1 Season Work?

Ligue 1 is made up of 18 teams in total. A season involves both a home and an away fixture against every other team.

Champions are crowned at the end of a season based on their overall points tally. If two or more teams are tied on points, then the following tie-breakers are observed:

Goal difference
Higher number of goals scored
Playoff at neutral venue if relevant for deciding champion, relegation or participating in a European league, otherwise by draw.

Teams finishing in second and third gain qualification into the Champions League with the club in fourth placed into a Champions League qualifying match to be played at the beginning of the following campaign. Sides ending up in fifth enter the UEFA Europa League with a sixth placed club facing a play-off to qualify for the Europa Conference League.

At the end of each season, the bottom two teams are relegated to Ligue 2 with two of their teams earning promotion.

There is also an annual play-off between the team who finishes 16th in Ligue 1 and the side that finishes third in Ligue 2. If the Ligue 1 team wins this two-legged tie on aggregate, then both sides remain in their respective leagues. However, if the Ligue 2 club are victorious then they are promoted and the Ligue 1 team relegated as a result.

When Does the Ligue 1 Season Start?

The Ligue 1 season typically starts in early August and runs until mid-May of the following year. The season’s start date can vary from year to year, but it usually starts around the second week of August.

Between each campaign is the ‘off-season’ in which players do not play competitive leagues games but can be invited to feature during international tournaments like the European Championship or World Cup.

What Is The Maximum Amount Of Points Can You Achieve In A Ligue 1 Season?

The maximum number of points a team can achieve during a Ligue 1 season is 102.

This would be achieved if a team were to win all 34 matches as each win is worth three points. It is worth noting that no team has ever come close to winning every game in a Ligue 1 season. The record for most wins in a 34-match season is Saint-Étienne during 1969/70 when they won 25 games.

The team with the most points in a single Ligue 1 season is Paris Saint-Germain, who earned 96 points across the 2015/16 campaign.

How Many Points For A Draw In Ligue 1 Football?

In most professional football leagues, including Ligue 1, a draw or tie is worth one point.

Each team is awarded one point if a match ends in a draw. If a team wins a game, then they are awarded three points. If a team loses a match, they are awarded no points.

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