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J.League 2020 to skip relegation

Tokyo: The J.League has announced that it will suspend relegation for the 2020 season, while allowing teams in the second and third divisions to battle it out for promotion. 

The decision came after the J.League Extraordinary Executive Committee convened on Thursday, with all 56 clubs agreeing to the move.

The 2020 season, which began in February, was postponed two days later due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and J.League Chairman Mitsuru Murai said the decision to permit promotion will encourage players to compete in such a situation, while protecting clubs from events out of their control.

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“There are going to be a lot of obstacles in the way, and the competition may not be balanced or fair, but we want soccer to continue,” Murai (pictured below) said.

“There are areas with lots of infections and areas with none where kids are already going back to school.

“Some teams may be able to play, and other teams might not be able to, disrupting the integrity of the competition," Murai said.

“Some teams might have to deal with several games behind closed doors on short notice. If we play during the Olympics or international match windows then teams may be without their national team players.

“Even if managers have to use players from their youth team (to fill the squad in the event that top-team players are quarantined), we want matches to be played.”

The top two clubs from J2 will be promoted to J1, with the same from J3 to J2 that will see 20 teams in J1 and 22 teams in J2.

In the following seasons, four clubs will be relegated from the J1.

Sources:, AFP

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