|Champions|| Honda FC |
5th JFL title
1st D4 title
|Goals scored||492 (2.7 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Kazuhito Kishida (17 goals)|
Renofa vs Honda FC
Maruyasu vs Yokogawa
The 2014 Japan Football League (Japanese: 第16回日本フットボールリーグ, Hepburn: Dai Jūrokkai Nihon Futtobōru Rīgu) was the first season of the nationwide fourth tier of the Japanese football, and the 16th season since the establishment of Japan Football League. The first stage of the season commenced from 16 March to 8 June, and the second stage of the season commenced on 19 July, and ended on 9 November, while post-season championship playoffs were held on 23 and 30 November.
Honda FC defeated SP Kyoto FC in the final series, winning their first title since 2008, and fifth in JFL overall. Meanwhile, Renofa Yamaguchi won promotion to J3 League after it has finished 4th in the table and fulfilled all licensing criteria set by J. League.
After 10 of 18 teams were set to leave JFL for newly created J3, the league announced that it would suffer a contraction and only 14 teams would participate in 2014.The league would accommodate all winners of the Regional League promotion series and would accept applications from another Regional clubs that are willing to participate in the nationwide league. On 4 December 2013 the league announced the final list of promoted teams.
|Club Name||Home Town||Notes|
|Azul Claro Numazu||Numazu, Shizuoka||J. League 100 Year Plan club status holders, promoted from Tōkai Soccer League|
|Fagiano Okayama Next||Okayama, Okayama||2013 Chūgoku Soccer League champions, 2nd place in Regional promotion play-offs|
|Honda FC||Hamamatsu, Shizuoka|
|Kagoshima United||Kagoshima, Kagoshima||A new club, created on merger of Volca Kagoshima and FC Kagoshima, 2013 Kyushu Soccer League respective champions and runners-up|
|Honda Lock||Miyazaki, Miyazaki|
|Maruyasu Okazaki||Okazaki, Aichi||Promoted from Tōkai Soccer League. Renamed from Maruyasu Industries SC|
|MIO Biwako Shiga||Kusatsu, Shiga|
|SP Kyoto FC||Mukō, Kyoto||Renamed from Sagawa Printing SC|
|Renofa Yamaguchi||Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi||100 Year Plan club, promoted from Chūgoku Soccer League|
|Sony Sendai||Tagajō, Miyagi|
|Tochigi Uva||Tochigi, Tochigi||100 Year Plan club status approved 20 May 2014|
|Vanraure Hachinohe||Hachinohe, Aomori||100 Year Plan club|
|Verspah Oita||Ōita, Ōita||Renamed from Hoyo Oita|
|Yokogawa Musashino||Musashino, Tokyo|
The league will turn to two-stage format, similar to the one J. League had in its early years and is planning to reintroduce in 2015. Two single round-robin stages will be held, and winners of each stage will determine the champion in the post-season home and away championship playoffs. If the same team manages to win both stages, no playoffs will be held, and they will be automatically declared champions.
No relegation is expected to take place in 2014 season, as the league anticipates expansion to 16 teams in 2015.
According to updated J. League Terms, in order to be promoted to J3 League the clubs must comply the following requirements:
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Honda FC (A)||13||11||1||1||36||11||+25||34||Qualification for championship play-offs|
|3||SP Kyoto FC||13||9||0||4||21||12||+9||27|
|7||Azul Claro Numazu||13||3||5||5||11||14||−3||14|
|10||Fagiano Okayama Next||13||2||5||6||10||22||−12||11|
|13||MIO Biwako Shiga||13||2||3||8||9||32||−23||9|
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||SP Kyoto FC (A)||13||11||1||1||37||8||+29||34||Qualification for championship play-offs|
|8||Azul Claro Numazu||13||5||3||5||15||21||−6||18|
|10||MIO Biwako Shiga||13||4||1||8||15||18||−3||13|
|11||Fagiano Okayama Next||13||3||3||7||14||24||−10||12|
The championship play-offs was held after the season between two winners of each stage. Honda FC, the winners of the first stage, will host the first leg on 23 November, and SP Kyoto FC who won the second stage will host the second leg on 29 November.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Honda FC||5–4||SP Kyoto FC||2–2||3–2|
|Honda FC||2–2||SP Kyoto FC|
| Hosokai 37'|
|Report|| 6' Kurosu |
|SP Kyoto FC||2–3||Honda FC|
| Horikawa 5'|
|Report|| 37' Harada |
Honda FC won the series 5–4 on aggregate and thus won their 5th JFL title.
This table was used to determine J3 promotion candidates. To qualify for promotion, a club must hold a 100 Year Plan status (marked in bold in the table), and finish both in Top-4 of the JFL, and either 1st or 2nd among the promotion-eligible clubs.
On 21 October the J. League has examined clubs in order to determine J3 promotion eligibility. Among existing 100 Year Plan clubs only Azul Claro Numazu and Renofa Yamaguchi passed all tests, making them the only clubs theoretically eligible for promotion.
On 19 November J. League officially admitted Renofa Yamaguchi to participate in next year J3 League.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||SP Kyoto FC||26||20||1||5||58||20||+38||61|
|3||Honda FC (C)||26||16||5||5||58||28||+30||53|
|4||Renofa Yamaguchi (P)||26||16||3||7||51||27||+24||51||Promotion to 2015 J3 League|
|8||Azul Claro Numazu||26||8||8||10||26||35||−9||32|
|11||Fagiano Okayama Next||26||5||8||13||24||46||−22||23|
|12||MIO Biwako Shiga||26||6||4||16||24||50||−26||22|
|1||Kazuhito Kishida||Renofa Yamaguchi|
|2||Takaki Fukumitsu||Verspah Oita|
|3||Yuta Uchino||Sony Sendai|
|4||Daiki Kagawa||Honda FC|
|5||Kazuma Sato||SP Kyoto FC|
|6||Gen Nakamura||Sony Sendai|
|7||Akira Akao||Kagoshima United|
|Noriaki Fujimoto||SP Kyoto FC|
|Daisuke Kurosu||SP Kyoto FC|
|10||Kiichi Iga||Honda FC|
|Taishi Kusaka||Maruyasu Okazaki|
|Makoto Nakasuji||Kagoshima United|
|Tatsuya Saito||MIO Biwako Shiga|
|Hiroya Yamada||Kagoshima United|
Source: Japan Football League
Updated to games played on 9 November 2014
|3||Azul Claro Numazu||23,096||2,968||309||1,777||+121.0%†|
|7||MIO Biwako Shiga||8,374||1,713||224||644||+18.6%|
|10||Fagiano Okayama Next||5,865||759||249||451||n/a†|
|11||SP Kyoto FC||5,133||626||234||395||−2.5%|
As the league plans to expand to 16 teams for 2015 season, two promotion slots were available for the winners of the Regional League promotion series. In the final group tournament that took place from 22 to 24 November Nara Club and FC Osaka finished first and second, respectively, and won promotion to 2015 JFL.[ citation needed ]
Due to promotion of Renofa Yamaguchi to J3 League, one additional promotion spot become available. On 10 December it was awarded to Club Dragons from Kansai League D2 who finished third in the Regional Promotion series.
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