Swiss Challenge League

Last updated
Swiss Challenge League
Challenge League.png
Founded1898 as Swiss Serie B [1]
1933 as Nationalliga B [2]
Other club(s) fromLiechtenstein
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams10
Level on pyramid2
Promotion to Super League
Relegation to Promotion League
Domestic cup(s) Swiss Cup
Current champions Lausanne
Website Official Site
Soccerball current event.svg 2019–20 Season

The Swiss Challenge League or Challenge League is the second highest tier of the Swiss football league system. Ten teams play in the Challenge League. The winners of the league are promoted to the Super League, while the bottom team is relegated to the Promotion League.


As of 2020, Liechtenstein's FC Vaduz plays in the Challenge League, as Liechtenstein clubs play in the Swiss league structure.

The Challenge League is fully professional.

Participating clubs 2020–21

FC Aarau 26/05/1902 Flag of Switzerland.svg Aarau Stadion Brügglifeld 8.000
FC Chiasso 16/10/1905 Flag of Switzerland.svg Chiasso Riva IV 5.000
Grasshopper Club 01/09/1886 Flag of Switzerland.svg Zürich Letzigrund 26.104
SC Kriens 01/07/1944 Flag of Switzerland.svg Kriens Kleinfeld 5.360
FC Stade Lausanne Ouchy 2001 Flag of Switzerland.svg Ouchy Centre Sportif de Vidy 4.200
Neuchâtel Xamax FCS 1912 Flag of Switzerland.svg Neuchâtel Stade de la Maladière 12.000
FC Schaffhausen 01/07/1896 Flag of Switzerland.svg Schaffhausen LIPO Park Schaffhausen 8.085
FC Thun 04/05/1898 Flag of Switzerland.svg Thun Stockhorn Arena 10.000
FC Wil 1900 1900 Flag of Switzerland.svg Wil IGP Arena 6.010
FC Winterthur 01/07/1896 Flag of Switzerland.svg Winterthur Schützenwiese 9.450

Promotion/Relegation from 2019–20 season


The league was named Nationalliga B until 2003 when it was restructured and changed to the "Challenge League."

During the Nationalliga B era, the top clubs were "promoted" into a round robin playoff with the lowest teams in the Nationalliga A to determine promotion and relegation. From 2003 to 2012, the second placed team entered a two-legged playoff against the 9th placed team in the Super League, with the winner playing in the higher division next season. In 2012, with the creation of the 1. Liga Promotion (later renamed Promotion League), the league was reduced to 10 teams in a 1-up 1-down promotion/relegation format, scrapping the playoff. The playoff was reintroduced in 2019.

Nationalliga B Era

SeasonLeague WinnerPromoted from playoffs/Promoted as runners upTeams Relegated
1960–61 FC Lugano FC Schaffhausen Neuchâtel Xamax
Nordstern Basel
1961–62 FC Chiasso FC Sion FC Martigny-Sports
FC Yverdon-Sports
1962–63 FC Schaffhausen Neuchâtel Xamax FC Bodio
FC Fribourg
1963–64 FC Lugano AC Bellinzona Etoile Carouge FC
FC Vevey-Sports 05
1964–65 Urania Genève Sport Young Fellows Zürich FC Bern
FC Schaffhausen
1965–66 FC Winterthur FC Moutier FC Porrentruy
Neuchâtel Xamax
1966–67 FC Luzern AC Bellinzona Le Locle-Sports
Blue Stars Zürich
1967–68 FC Winterthur FC St.Gallen FC Moutier
FC Bern
1968–69 FC Wettingen FC Fribourg FC Baden
FC Solothurn
1969–70 FC Sion FC Luzern FC Thun
FC Langenthal
1970–71 FC St.Gallen FC Grenchen Young Fellows Zürich
Urania Genève Sport
1971–72 FC Chiasso FC Fribourg FC Monthey
US Gambarogno
1972–73 Neuchâtel Xamax CS Chênois SC Brühl
SC Buochs
1973–74 FC Luzern FC Vevey-Sports 05 Young Fellows Zürich
FC Tössfeld
1974–75 FC Biel-Bienne FC La Chaux-de-Fonds FC Giubiasco
1975–76 AC Bellinzona - FC Martigny-Sports
FC Wettingen
1976–77 Étoile Carouge FC Young Fellows Zürich Mendrisiostar
FC Raron
1977–78 Nordstern Basel FC Chiasso FC Gossau
FC Bulle
1978–79 FC La Chaux-de-Fonds FC Luzern
FC Lugano
Étoile Carouge FC
Young Fellows Zürich
1979–80 AC Bellinzona Nordstern Basel FC Raron
FC Baden
1980–81 FC Vevey-Sports 05 FC Aarau
FC Bulle
SC Kriens
1981–82 FC Winterthur FC Wettingen Aurore Bienne
FC Altstätten
FC Frauenfeld
1982–83 FC La Chaux-de-Fonds FC Chiasso FC Bern
FC Ibach
FC Rüti ZH
1983–84 SC Zug FC Winterthur FC Fribourg
FC Nordstern Basel
FC Red Star Zürich
1984-85 FC Grenchen FC Baden Mendrisiostar
FC Yverdon-Sports
FC Monthey
1985–86 FC Locarno AC Bellinzona FC Zug
FC Laufen
Le Locle Sports
1986–87 FC Grenchen None SC Kriens
1987–88 Étoile Carouge FC (West)
FC Lugano (East)
FC Wettingen
FC Lugano
FC Solothurn
FC Vevey-Sports 05
FC Wangen bei Olten
1988–89 FC Yverdon-Sports (West)
FC Basel (East)
FC Zürich FC Biel-Bienne
Renens FC
1989–90 FC Fribourg (West)
FC Baden (East)
FC Zürich FC Brüttisellen
FC Martigny-Sports
FC Zug
1990–91 FC Yverdon-Sports (West)
FC Locarno (South & East)
None CS Chênois
SC Burgdorf
FC Montreux-Sports
1991–92 FC Basel (West)
FC Schaffhausen (South & East)
FC Chiasso ES Malley
SC Zug
FC Glarus
1992–93 FC Yverdon-Sports (West)
FC Luzern (East)
FC Luzern
SC Kriens
FC Yverdon-Sports
FC Wettingen
FC Châtel-St-Denis
FC Brüttisellen
SC Bümpliz
FC Emmenbrücke
FC Chur
FC La Chaux-de-Fonds
1993–94 Étoile Carouge FC (West)
FC Schaffhausen (East)
FC Basel
FC St. Gallen
BSC Old Boys
FC Bulle
Urania Genève Sport
FC Chiasso
FC Monthey
FC Sursee
FC Fribourg
1994-95 FC Yverdon-Sports (West)
SC Kriens (East)
None AC Bellinzona
FC Grenchen
1995–96 SC Kriens None FC Chiasso
FC Naters
1996–97 Étoile Carouge FC Étoile Carouge FC
SC Kriens
FC Gossau
FC Meyrin
1997–98 BSC Young Boys FC Lugano
BSC Young Boys
FC Winterthur
SV Schaffhausen
1998–99 FC Wil SR Delémont
FC Yverdon-Sports
FC Locarno
FC Chiasso
1999–2000 AC Bellinzona FC Sion Stade Nyonnais
FC Schaffhausen
2000–01 BSC Young Boys BSC Young Boys FC Wangen bei Olten
FC Solothurn
2001–02 FC Wil 1900 FC Wil 1900
FC Thun
FC Locarno
Étoile Carouge FC
2002–03 FC Vaduz None FC Lugano 1
FC Lausanne-Sport 1
FC Sion 1

1 FC Lugano and FC Lausanne-Sport went bankrupt which meant that no team was relegated due to their league position. FC Sion were not awarded a license for the 2003-04 season resulted in an extra team being promoted.

Challenge League Era

The league statistics of the Challenge League area: [3] [4]

Year1st Position2nd PositionPlayoff resultRelegatedRelegated
2003–04 Schaffhausen Vaduz Neuchâtel Xamax 2:0 Vaduz

Vaduz 2:1 Neuchâtel Xamax

Neuchâtel Xamax won 3:2 on aggregate

Delémont 1
2004–05 Yverdon-Sport Vaduz Schaffhausen 1:1 Vaduz

Vaduz 0:1 Schaffhausen

Schaffhausen won 2:1 on aggregate

Baden 2 Bulle
2005–06 Luzern Sion Sion 0:0 Neuchâtel Xamax

Neuchâtel Xamax 0:3 Sion

Sion won 3:0 on aggregate

Baden Meyrin
2006–07 Neuchâtel Xamax Bellinzona Bellinzona 1:2 Aarau

Aarau 3:1 Bellinzona

Aarau won 5:2 on aggregate

Baulmes YF Juventus
2007–08 Vaduz Bellinzona Bellinzona 3:2 St. Gallen

St. Gallen 0:2 Bellinzona

Bellinzona won 5:2 on aggregate

Delémont 3
Kriens 3
2008–09 St. Gallen Lugano Lugano 1:0 Luzern

Luzern 5:0 Lugano

Luzern won 5:1 on aggregate

Locarno 4 Gossau 4
2009–10 Thun Lugano Bellinzona 2:1 Lugano

Lugano 0:0 Bellinzona

Bellinzona won 2:1 on aggregate

Le Mont Gossau
2010–11 Lausanne Servette Bellinzona 1:0 Servette

Servette 3:1 Bellinzona

Servette won 3:2 on aggregate

Schaffhausen Yverdon
2011–12 St. Gallen Aarau Sion 3:0 Aarau

Aarau 1:0 Sion

Sion won 3:1 on aggregate

2012–13 Aarau Bellinzona Locarno 5
2013–14 Vaduz Lugano Locarno
2014–15 Lugano Servette Biel/Bienne 6
2015–16 Lausanne Wil Biel/Bienne 7
2016–17 Zürich Neuchâtel Xamax Wil 8
2017–18 Neuchâtel Xamax Schaffhausen Wohlen
2018–19 Servette Aarau Neuchâtel Xamax 0:4 Aarau

Aarau 0:4 (4:5 p ) Neuchâtel Xamax

Xamax won after 4:4 on aggregate and 5:4 in penalty shootout.

2019–20 Lausanne Vaduz Vaduz 2:0 Thun

Thun 4:3 Vaduz

Vaduz won after 5:4 on aggregate.

1 Sion were admitted to the league on October 29, 2003, after the season had already begun which brought the number of teams in the division to 17.
Only one club was relegated and two were promoted to extend the league to 18 clubs for the 2004–05 season.

2 Baden were not relegated due to Servette being demoted to 1. Liga because of financial difficulties.
3 Delémont and Kriens were also relegated to due the league being downsized to 16 teams for the 2008–09 season.
4 Locarno and Gossau were not relegated due to Concordia and La Chaux-de-Fonds being denied professional licenses.
5 Locarno were not relegated due to Bellinzona being stripped of their professional licenses during the season.
6 Biel/Bienne were not relegated due to Servette being denied professional licenses.
7 Biel/Bienne were stripped of their professional licenses during the season.
8 Wil were not relegated due to Le Mont relinquishing their professional licenses.
9No team was relegated due to the cancellation of the Swiss Promotion League caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland.

See also

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  1. Swiss Serie B RSSSF
  2. Swiss Football League - Nationalliga B RSSSF
  3. "Schweiz » Challenge League » Siegerliste" [Switzerland: Challenge League » List of champions] (in German). Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  4. "Schweiz » Challenge League 2015/2016 » 36. Spieltag" [Switzerland: Challenge League »2015–16] (in German). Retrieved 26 May 2016.