J.League to launch Division 3

Having previously noted on 9 November 2012 that discussions regarding a third professional tier of the J.League were set to commence before the end of the year, the Daily Yomiuri reports that the J.League is set to launch Division 3 in 2014.

In its inaugural season the number of participating teams is expected to be between ten and twelve, with a minimum stadium capacity requirement of just 3,000, compared to the 10,000 necessary required in J.League Division 2. While the 10,000 capacity stadia criteria in Division 2 makes little sense on the basis that average crowds across the division totalled just over 5,800, with only three teams nearer or above the 10,000 mark over the course of the 2012 season, the substantially smaller figure for the lower league should provide an easier standard of entry into the professional game for a number of teams currently residing in the JFL and the regional leagues.

There is no news at the present time as to how teams still owned and operated directly by parent companies will be affected, such as Honda FC, and where their future lies within the Japanese football league pyramid if they cannot or will not professionalise. Honda FC in particular made a deliberate decision to revert to fully amateur status having once been a J.League Associate Member, Honda Motor’s board assessing the environment and believing pursuing motor sport opportunities in the context of its main business to be the preferred option. It can only be hoped therefore that, despite the progress made by the J.League and the likely benefits that a third professional division will bring to the domestic and national game, one of the JFL’s stalwart members will be afforded sufficient consideration by the JFA in the event that it doesn’t garner the minimum level of support necessary from its fans and owners to become one of the third tier’s initial professional teams.

Japan Football League: Final Table

(With the JFL title decided on Matchday 33, as V-Varen scored three without reply away to YSCC and AC Nagano Parceiro stumbled at home against Fujieda MYFC, the champions played their final match of the season at the Sasebo Municipal Athletic Stadium, running out 1-0 winners against Sony Sendai. Following a J.League Board of Directors meeting on 12 November, V-Varen’s application for a Division 2 licence was approved, and they were promoted to the second tier of Japanese football for the first time in their history)

Home Away
Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 V-Varen Nagasaki (C) 32 10 6 0 32 13 10 1 5 25 11 +33 67
2 AC Nagano Parceiro 32 10 3 3 33 12 7 4 5 24 22 +23 58
3 Sagawa Shiga FC 32 9 2 5 33 18 7 7 2 28 19 +24 57
4 Kamatamare Sanuki 32 7 3 6 21 11 8 5 3 28 18 +20 53
5 Honda FC 32 10 3 3 32 11 6 2 8 23 28 +16 53
6 Yokohama SCC 32 6 1 9 28 26 9 3 4 30 24 +8 49
7 Sagawa Printing SC 32 5 7 4 24 19 7 2 7 19 24 +0 45
8 MIO Biwako Shiga 32 4 6 6 24 29 7 4 5 29 23 +1 43
9 FC Ryukyu 32 8 2 6 31 25 4 5 7 27 37 -4 43
10 Yokogawa Musashino FC 32 5 3 8 16 29 6 5 5 19 21 -15 41
11 Fujieda MYFC 32 5 5 6 22 25 6 2 8 17 23 -9 40
12 Sony Sendai FC 32 5 6 5 11 10 4 6 6 16 19 -2 39
13 Blaublitz Akita 32 4 7 5 17 18 5 3 8 16 23 -8 37
14 Zweigen Kanazawa 32 3 6 7 15 22 5 6 5 18 19 -8 36
15 Hoyo AC Elan Oita 32 4 3 9 20 35 5 5 6 20 22 -17 35
16 Honda Lock SC 32 3 2 11 14 30 4 5 7 14 26 -28 28
17 Tochigi Uva FC 32 2 5 9 18 38 2 5 9 18 32 -34 22

Japan Football League: Updated Table

(Shohei Kiyohara converts a 20th minute penalty to give Sagawa Shiga the lead against V-Varen Nagasaki in their Matchday Thirty encounter played on 20 October, a game they would go on to win 2-0. Second-place AC Nagano Parceiro failed to take advantage of V-Varen’s slip, however, as a day later they lost 3-1 away to Hoyo AC Elan Oita, ensuring Toru Sano’s side maintained a five point advantage with just four league matches remaining. V-Varen remain on course to claim the JFL title and secure automatic promotion to the J.League for the first time in the club’s history)

Home Away
Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 V-Varen Nagasaki 28 9 5 0 30 12 9 0 5 21 10 +29 59
2 AC Nagano Parceiro 28 9 3 2 32 11 7 3 4 21 18 +24 54
3 Sagawa Shiga FC 28 9 1 4 31 15 5 7 2 23 18 +21 50
4 Honda FC 29 9 3 3 30 11 5 2 7 22 27 +14 47
5 Yokohama SCC 29 5 1 8 26 23 8 3 4 29 24 +8 43
6 Kamatamare Sanuki 27 5 3 6 19 11 7 3 3 21 13 +16 42
7 MIO Biwako Shiga 28 4 5 5 19 22 7 3 4 27 18 +6 41
8 Sagawa Printing SC 28 5 6 3 21 14 6 2 6 16 21 +2 41
9 Sony Sendai FC 28 5 6 3 11 8 4 6 4 16 16 +3 39
10 Yokogawa Musashino FC 28 5 3 6 15 25 5 5 4 16 18 -12 38
11 Blaublitz Akita 28 3 7 4 15 16 5 2 7 15 21 -7 33
12 FC Ryukyu 27 6 1 6 24 22 3 5 6 22 32 -8 33
13 Fujieda MYFC 29 4 5 6 21 25 5 1 8 13 21 -12 33
14 Hoyo AC Elan Oita 28 4 3 7 16 27 4 5 5 19 21 -13 32
15 Zweigen Kanazawa 29 2 5 7 12 20 5 5 5 17 18 -9 31
16 Honda Lock SC 28 3 1 10 11 25 3 5 6 13 25 -26 24
17 Tochigi Uva FC 28 2 4 8 16 34 0 5 9 10 28 -36 15

Japan Football League: Updated Table

The four teams struggling at the bottom of J.League Division 2 may have been breathing a little more easily in recent weeks, as the Japan Football League approached the final third of the season. With nineteen games played, last season’s runners-up AC Nagano Parceiro sat astride the top of the table after four consecutive victories, four points clear of J.League Associate Members V-Varen. The Nagasaki outfit, members of the third tier of Japanese football since 2009 and whose application for membership was approved in the same year, had a game in hand on the league leaders, one scheduled to be played played on 5 September against fellow Associate Members Kamatamare Sanuki after their previous contest was postponed owing to awful weather conditions. Should they have stayed second position until the culmination of the league campaign, they would have been required to enter a play-off with the bottom-placed team in Division Two, providing for the possibility that no team would be relegated.

Furthermore, a decline in form for what had been one of only two Associate Members had seen Kamatamare drop to sixth place in the table, likely ending their prospects of automatic promotion and jeopardising their hopes of securing a play-off place. Even a victory in the re-scheduled fixture against V-Varen was unlikely to see them to close the gap separating the teams, as results on 21 and 22 July extended V-Varen’s advantage to nine points. This enhanced the potential for only one Division Two team to face a potential relegation battle.

On 23 July, AC Nagano Parceiro, whose previous application for Associate Membership had been declined, saw their application approved by the J.League board. However, Parceiro will be unable to ascend to J.League Division 2 should they end the season in an automatic promotion or play-off place, as their current home ground, the Nagano Minami Sports Park Stadium, does not meet the minimum capacity requirements of 10,000, with redevelopment works not expected to be completed until 2016. Nonetheless, the 2012 season is the first in which relegation from J2 is possible, and now FC Gifu, Kataller Toyama, Gainare Tottori and FC Machida Zelvia face a desperate fight to avoid becoming an historic statistic in the J.League.

Home Away
Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 AC Nagano Parceiro 20 8 2 2 25 9 6 0 2 13 8 +21 44
2 V-Varen Nagasaki 19 5 4 0 18 7 7 0 3 17 6 +22 40
3 Sagawa Shiga FC 20 6 0 4 22 11 4 4 2 15 12 +14 34
4 Yokohama SCC 20 5 0 5 21 13 5 3 2 17 13 +12 33
5 Honda FC 20 6 1 3 18 7 4 2 4 13 13 +11 33
6 Sony Sendai FC 19 4 5 1 8 4 4 3 2 14 9 +9 32
7 Kamatamare Sanuki 19 4 1 4 12 8 5 3 2 15 7 +12 31
8 Sagawa Printing SC 20 4 4 1 11 6 4 2 5 13 18 +0 30
9 MIO Biwako Shiga 20 2 4 3 12 16 6 1 4 24 16 +4 29
10 FC Ryukyu 20 6 0 4 21 16 2 3 5 14 25 -6 27
11 Blaublitz Akita 19 2 5 2 10 10 5 0 5 12 14 -2 26
12 Zweigen Kanazawa 20 2 2 6 8 12 4 3 3 14 13 -3 23
13 Hoyo AC Elan Oita 19 1 3 5 6 21 4 3 3 13 10 -12 21
14 Yokogawa Musashino FC 19 2 2 5 8 16 3 4 3 10 14 -12 21
15 Fujieda MYFC 20 2 2 6 11 21 3 1 6 7 15 -18 18
16 Honda Lock SC 20 2 0 9 9 23 1 3 5 8 16 -22 12
17 Tochigi Uva FC 20 1 3 7 11 26 0 3 6 7 22 -30 9

J.League and JFL Stadium Map

This is an embeddable, expandable map for all teams across both J.League divisions using their respective logos as a place marker. The Info Windows for each club are now complete, including stadium photos and addresses, together with club website and contact information. Only primary stadia have been mapped to these point, and auxiliary stadia will also follow in due course, together with links to current and future content on Football Japan.


 

(Please note that this will work with Google Earth, and clicking this link provides access to the KML file for Google Earth. However, I am working on a standalone, separate project to make greater use of this more powerful tool, which will be completed in 2013)

Finally, the map can be opened in google maps by clicking this link.

Japan Football League: Matchday Fifteen Table

(AC Nagano Parceiro fans celebrate the Kenichi Nozawa goal that gave them a 1-0 victory over league leaders V-Varen Nagasaki at the Nagano Minami Sports Park Stadium. Viva remain at the top of the Japan Football League, but saw their lead cut to two points following Kamatamare Sanuki’s 3-0 away to Yokogawa Musashino)

Home Away
Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 V-Varen Nagasaki 14 4 2 0 10 2 5 0 3 11 5 +14 29
2 Kamatamare Sanuki 14 3 1 2 8 4 5 2 1 13 4 +13 27
3 Yokohama SCC 14 4 0 2 16 7 4 2 2 15 12 +12 26
4 AC Nagano Parceiro 13 6 2 1 19 5 2 0 2 4 7 +11 26
5 Blaublitz Akita 14 2 4 1 9 8 5 0 2 10 6 +5 25
6 Sagawa Printing SC 14 4 2 1 9 4 3 2 2 7 9 +3 25
7 MIO Biwako Shiga 14 1 3 2 10 12 6 0 2 23 8 +13 24
8 FC Ryukyu 15 6 0 2 20 12 1 2 4 8 17 -1 23
9 Sony Sendai FC 14 3 4 1 5 2 2 3 1 10 8 +5 22
10 Sagawa Shiga FC 14 3 0 3 12 9 3 3 2 10 8 +5 21
11 Honda FC 14 5 0 3 14 6 1 2 3 6 10 +4 20
12 Zweigen Kanazawa 14 1 2 5 4 8 2 2 2 9 10 -5 13
13 Yokogawa Musashino FC 14 1 1 4 5 10 2 3 3 8 13 -10 13
14 Fujieda MYFC 14 1 2 3 6 12 2 1 5 5 13 -14 12
15 Hoyo AC Elan Oita 14 0 2 4 4 17 2 3 3 7 9 -15 11
16 Honda Lock SC 15 1 0 7 7 18 1 1 5 6 14 -19 7
17 Tochigi Uva FC 13 1 2 5 8 19 0 1 4 3 13 -21 6

Japan Football League: Matchday Twelve Table

(Highlights from the Japan Football League Matchday Ten fixture between Kamatamare Sanuki and Sagawa Shiga FC. The crowd at the Kagawa General Sports Park went home disappointed as the visitors won 1-0)

J.League Associate Members Kamatamare Sanuki and V-Varen Nagasaki sit in the top two places in the Japan Football League with a third of the matches in the third tier of Japanese football completed. Clubs currently in the lower ranks of J.League Division 2 may start to view this with alarm, as if both Kamatamare and V-Varen remain in these positions at the end of the JFL season, the champions would benefit from automatic promotion to the professional game, while the runners-up would paticipate in a play-off with the team finishing second from bottom for the right to play professional football.

Home Away
Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Kamatamare Sanuki 12 3 1 2 8 4 4 1 1 10 4 +10 23
2 V-Varen Nagasaki 11 2 2 0 4 2 5 0 2 11 4 +9 23
3 Sagawa Printing SC 12 4 1 1 8 3 3 1 2 4 6 +3 23
4 AC Nagano Parceiro 10 5 1 1 16 3 2 0 1 4 3 +14 22
5 FC Ryukyu 12 6 0 1 17 8 1 1 3 7 13 +3 22
6 MIO Biwako Shiga 11 1 3 1 10 11 4 0 2 16 7 +8 18
7 Blaublitz Akita 11 2 3 1 6 5 3 0 2 5 6 +0 18
8 Yokohama SCC 11 2 0 2 10 6 3 2 2 11 9 +6 17
9 Honda FC 11 4 0 3 10 6 1 2 1 6 4 +6 17
10 Sony Sendai FC 11 3 2 1 4 1 1 3 1 6 6 +3 17
11 Sagawa Shiga FC 11 2 0 2 6 6 2 3 2 9 8 +1 15
12 Zweigen Kanazawa 11 1 2 3 3 4 2 1 2 7 8 -2 12
13 Yokogawa Musashino FC 11 1 1 2 4 5 2 2 3 7 12 -6 12
14 Hoyo AC Elan Oita 11 0 2 2 4 8 2 3 2 7 5 -2 11
15 Tochigi Uva FC 11 1 2 4 6 15 0 1 3 3 11 -17 6
16 Fujieda MYFC 11 0 2 3 3 12 1 1 4 2 11 -18 6
17 Honda Lock SC 12 0 0 7 6 18 0 1 4 2 8 -18 1