Nîmes' administrative relegation overturned!
The French Football Federation has upheld Nîmes Olympique's appeal against their administrative relegation to the third division, opting instead for an eight-point penalty in next season's Ligue 2 season.
On March 17 the LFP's Disciplinary Commission condemned Ligue 2 side Nîmes Olympique to a descent to the National (D3) following an inquest into a match-fixing scandal, but on Wednesday the club's appeal to the FFF was upheld and Nîmes - currently in 13th in France's second tier with one match left to play - are back on track to ply their trade in Ligue 2 next season.
Perdrier: 'Nîmes is innocent'
In place of the administrative relegation, the FFF has opted to inflict an eight-point penalty on Les Crocodiles that will enter into effect at the beginning of next season, but Nîmes president Christian Perdrier has vowed that the club will be making a further appeal in a bid to have this new penalty reduced.
"This penalty seems to us to completely disproportionate. We will make an appeal to the CNOSF (France's Olympic and sports arbitration body) to say that we don't agree with this eight-point penalty," he declared. "Nîmes is innocent and we want our name to be cleared. Starting next season with an eight-point penalty is tantamount to ensuring that we will be battling for our survival all season long. Nîmes is more of a victim that anything else in this whole affair and there is no reason for any sanction of any kind."
The reversal of the LFP's decision means that 18th place - currently occupied by US Orléans, whose five-point lead over already relegated Châteauroux had been enough to guarantee their safety - is back in the firing line for a descent to the National, meaning that Orléans, AC Ajaccio or Valenciennes FC will all be battling for their survival on the final day of the season.