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Ligue 1

Ligue 1 (formerly known as Division 1 and sometimes referred to as Le Championnat), is the French professional league for association football clubs. It is the country's primary football competition and serves as the top division of the French football league system. Ligue 1 is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel, the other being Ligue 2. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Ligue 2. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 games each totaling 380 games in the season. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, 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. Ligue 1 is one of the top national leagues, currently ranked fifth in Europe behind the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, the German Bundesliga and the Italian Serie A. The league is officially known as Ligue 1 Orange as it is sponsored by French telecommunications company Orange.

Ligue 1 was inaugurated on 11 September 1932 under the name National before switching to Division 1 after a year of existence. The name lasted until 2002 before switching to its current name.

Ligue 1 is generally regarded as competently run, with good planning of fixtures, complete and consistently enforced rules, timely resolution of issues, and adequate escalation procedures of judicial disputes to national or international institutions. The league has faced three significant corruption scandals in its history (Antibes in 1933, Red Star in the 1950s, and Marseille in 1993) and has preserved its reputation every time through swift and appropriately severe punishment of the guilty parties.

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