The Mainichi Shumbin focuses on the preparations of the Nadeshiko in the lead-up to the inaugural 2012 Women’s Kirin Challenge Cup, which commences 1 April. A Japan selection played a private practice match on 29 March, described by the affiliated Nippon Sports as an “Iron Curtain”, with Norio Sasaki giving little away except to confirm that it provided an unparalled opportunity to assess the condition of his players with the Olympic Games on the horizon.
For the first time in two years, the L.League League Cup will take place following its cancellation last year owing to the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, notes the Yomiuri Shimbun. Kicking-off on 23 June, the 20 L.League Division 1 teams will be divided into two groups and play in a round-robin format, with the top two sides from each group entering the semi-finals. The competition is to be suspended during London 2012, and the final is scheduled to take place in early September.
And finally, bad news for J.League Division 2 side Gainare Tottori is reported in the Sankei Shimbun, as four players have been struck down with Type A influenza, including captain Masayuki Okano. Five staff in total from the team are currently recuperating at home.