J-League seeking restart solutions

(Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

Japanese football’s J-League is planning alternatives if play is unable to resume soon.

All J-League games across three divisions –  J1, J2 and J3 -have been suspended since the end of February. The league is considering plans to resume play either in June, July or August.

A Kyodo News report quoted J-League chairman Mitsuru Murai as saying that J1 games may be held on days when the national team plays.

If the league can resume by the end of May, it could still be possible to play the season’s full schedule. If games are not played before June, then it will be necessary to change the format of the YBC Levain Cup competition, perhaps by reducing the tournament’s first round.

“As it stands now, I don’t know if it will be June or July, but we are preparing in the belief that play will resume,” Murai told a press conference following an extraordinary session of the league’s board of directors.

The season will be considered complete if 75 per cent of all league games are played and each team plays at least half its games. If those standards are not met, no teams will be promoted, no order of finish will be announced and no prize money awarded.

The J-League has suspended relegation for the 2020 season, but will allow teams in the second and third divisions to be promoted.