The Coupe Charles Simon, commonly known as the Coupe de France, is the
premier knockout cup competition in French football organized by the French Football Federation. The cup competition
is named after Charles Simon, a French sportsman who died while serving in World War I, and is open to all amateur
and professional football clubs in France, including clubs based in the overseas departments and territories. The final
is played at the Stade de France and the winner of the Coupe de France qualifies for the group stage of the UEFA Europa
League. The reigning champions are Paris Saint-Germain who defeated Les Herbiers VF in the final of the 2017-18 competition.
The Coupe de France was first held in 1917-18 and, during the 2016-17 season, celebrated its 100th season. Combined
with random draws and one-off matches (no replays), the Coupe de France can be difficult for the bigger clubs to win.
The competition is usually beneficial to the amateur clubs as it forces higher-ranked clubs, usually professional clubs,
to play as the away team when drawn against lower-league opposition if they are competing two levels below them.
Despite the advantages, only two amateur clubs have reached the final since professionalism was introduced in French
football in 1932: Calais RUFC in 2000 and Les Herbiers VF in 2018. Two clubs from outside Ligue 1 have won the competition,
Le Havre in 1959 and Guingamp in 2009.