Nimes Olympique (commonly referred to as simply Nimes) is a French association football club based in Nimes. The club was founded on 10 April 1937 and currently plays in Ligue 2, the second level of French football. The club's most important achievements were winning Ligue 2 in 1950 and the Championnat National in 1997 and in 2012. Nimes plays its home matches at the Stade des Costieres located within the city.


The Sporting Club Nimois (SCN) was founded in 1901 by Henri Monnier, who, at the age of 21, had just returned from a two-year trip to England. He decided to start a new team in Nimes, his home town. Originally, the team was for young Protestants only.

In 1908, the SCN played FC Sete for the title of 'Champions of Languedoc'. Nimes won, qualifying for the final phase of the French championship, which they lost to Marseille in the first round.

The club suspended activities due to World War I. After the war ended, it resumed its activities on 15 April 1919. In 1922, SCN united with another club from Nimes, F.A. Nimois, becoming a single club.

The new team, still under the name of Sporting Club Nimois, was runner-up in the South-East championship in 1925. In 1927, les Nimois won a place in the highest championship, then known as the Division d'Honneur.

In October 1931, the then-president of the Republic of France, Gaston Doumergue, inaugurated the Jean Bouin stadium.

Due to financial problems, SCN abandoned their professional activities in 1937. Following efforts from local businessmen, the club moved to the district of Lozere-Gard in Nimes, and was reformed as Nimes Olympique.

The team moved to the Stade des Costieres on 15 February 1989. The first league match at the stadium was on 4 March 1989, against Montceau in a Ligue 2 game, with 3,647 spectators in attendance. The record attendance to date was 25,051, which was recorded in the 1991–92 season, in a Ligue 1 game against Marseille.

In December 1991, during a match for Nimes, Eric Cantona threw the ball at the referee, having been angered by one of his decisions. He was summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the French Football Federation and was banned for one month. In turn, Cantona responded by walking up to each member of the hearing committee and calling them idiots. His ban was increased to two months, and Cantona subsequently announced his retirement from international football on 16 December 1991.

In 1995–96, Nimes reached the final of the French Cup, allowing them to compete the following year in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In September 1996, in the Round of 32, Nimes beat Budapest Honved (4–1 on aggregate), before losing to AIK Stockholm in the next round (2-3 on aggregate).

On 5 May 2018, Nimes secured promotion back to Ligue 1 for the first time since the 1992–93 season after finishing second in Ligue 2. In the 2018–19 season, Nimes enjoyed a happy return to Ligue 1 finishing 9th on the table. In the shortened 2019–20 season, the team finished 18th and narrowly avoided relegation.

On 16 May 2021, following a 5–2 home defeat against Lyon and a 4–0 away win for Nantes at already relegated Dijon in matchday 37 out of 38, Nimes confirmed its own relegation from Ligue 1 during the 2020–21 season.

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