Nîmes clinch promotion
Nîmes Olympique secured promotion to Ligue 1 Conforama on Friday, marking their return to the top flight after a quarter of a century away.
The southern outfit, nicknamed The Crocodiles, clinched promotion with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Gazélec FC Ajaccio in front of 17,337 spectators packed into their Stade des Costières. Moroccan international Rachid Alioui scored twice for Bernard Blaquart's side, leaving him on 17 goals for the season.
The result ensured that Nîmes will finish second in Domino's Ligue 2, behind champions Stade de Reims, as it coincided with third-placed AC Ajaccio drawing 1-1 at AJ Auxerre. The Corsicans will have to settle for the play-offs.
Nîmes were near constants in the top flight of French football in the three decades that followed the war, finishing second three years running between 1958 and 1960, and again in 1972. They last graced the elite in 1992-93, when a certain Laurent Blanc played for the club. Other former stars to have worn their red and white include Eric Cantona and René Girard.