|Dates||21 February – 19 December 2020|
|Champions||Kawasaki Frontale (3rd title)|
|AFC Champions League|| Kawasaki Frontale |
Cerezo Osaka (play-off)
|Goals scored||857 (2.8 per match)|
|Top goalscorer|| Michael Olunga |
|Biggest home win|| Urawa Red Diamonds 6–0 Vegalta Sendai |
(18 October 2020)
|Biggest away win|| Consadole Sapporo 1–6 Kawasaki Frontale |
(15 August 2020)
|Highest scoring|| Nagoya Grampus 6–2 Urawa Red Diamonds |
(8 August 2020)
Yokohama F. Marinos 6–2 Urawa Red Diamonds
(14 November 2020)
|Longest winning run||12 matches|
|Longest unbeaten run||13 matches|
|Longest winless run||17 matches|
|Longest losing run||7 matches|
The 2020 J1 League, also known as the 2020 Meiji Yasuda J1 League (Japanese: 2020 明治安田生命J1リーグ, Hepburn: 2020 Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 Rīgu) for sponsorship reasons, was the 28th season of the J1 League, the top Japanese professional league for association football clubs, since its establishment in 1993. The league began on 21 February and eventually ended on 19 December 2020. The league was planned to have a season break to avoid clashing with the 2020 Summer Olympics, but the Olympics were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.
Yokohama F. Marinos were the defending champions while Kashiwa Reysol and Yokohama FC entered the league as promoted teams from the 2019 J2 League, replacing Júbilo Iwata and Matsumoto Yamaga who were relegated to the 2020 J2 League.
On 25 February, all J.League matches until 15 March were postponed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.After that, it was announced that it would be postponed until 29 March. On 19 March, the J.League announced no relegation would take place for the 2020 season, with the J1 League expanding to 20 clubs for the 2021 season. On 25 March, the league announced that it would be suspended 3 April to 6 May.
On 3 April, the Japan Professional Football League decided to resume the league, gradually resumed J3 from 25 April, J2 from 2 May, and J1 from 9 May.However the league was postponed again.
On 29 May, the JPFL decided to resume the season on 27 June.The season is projected to resume on 4 July. On 9 June, the JPFL announced the new schedule of the 2020 season. On 15 June, it was announced that the first 2 matches in each league (J1, J2, and J3) would be held without spectators. After 10 July, as a general rule, the maximum number of people allowed is 5,000. The stadiums with less than 10,000 capacity would have up to 50% of the capacity. Away supporters are not allowed. After August, the maximum stadium capacity was 50%, and there would be "high alert spectator matches".
After the 11th J.League extraordinary executive committee meeting on 20 July, it was announced that the "super strict alert audience game" extended to 10 August in view of the spread of coronavirus infection.
For the 2020 season, there were only two changes in the league. Kashiwa Reysol returned as the 2019 J2 League champions and Yokohama FC as runners-up after 13 seasons absence from the top tier of Japanese football. They replaced Matsumoto Yamaga (one season in J1) and Júbilo Iwata (four seasons in J1), who were relegated to the 2020 J2 League.
Meanwhile, Shonan Bellmare remained in the J1 League after defeating Tokushima Vortis in the 2019 J2 League play-off final.
|Consadole Sapporo||Hokkaido|| Sapporo Dome |
Sapporo Atsubetsu Stadium
|Vegalta Sendai||Miyagi Prefecture||Yurtec Stadium Sendai||19,694||J1 (11th)|
|Kashima Antlers||Ibaraki Prefecture||Kashima Soccer Stadium||40,728||J1 (3rd)|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||Saitama Prefecture||Saitama Stadium 2002||63,700||J1 (14th)|
|Kashiwa Reysol||Chiba Prefecture||Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium||15,900||J2 (champions)|
|FC Tokyo||Tokyo||Ajinomoto Stadium||49,970||J1 (2nd)|
|Yokohama FC||Kanagawa Prefecture||MItsuzawa Stadium||15,046||J2 (2nd)|
|Yokohama F. Marinos||Nissan Stadium||72,327||J1 (champions)|
|Shonan Bellmare||BMW Stadium Hiratsuka||18,500||J1 (16th)|
|Kawasaki Frontale||Todoroki Stadium||26,232||J1 (4th)|
|Shimizu S-Pulse||Shizuoka Prefecture||IAI Stadium||20,339||J1 (12th)|
|Nagoya Grampus||Aichi Prefecture||Paloma Mizuho Stadium||27,001 |
|Gamba Osaka||Osaka Prefecture||Panasonic Stadium Suita||39,694||J1 (7th)|
|Cerezo Osaka||Yanmar Stadium||47,853||J1 (5th)|
|Vissel Kobe||Hyōgo Prefecture||Noevir Stadium||30,132||J1 (8th)|
|Sanfrecce Hiroshima||Hiroshima Prefecture||Edion Stadium||36,894||J1 (6th)|
|Oita Trinita||Ōita Prefecture||Showa Denko Dome Oita||40,000||J1 (9th)|
|Sagan Tosu||Saga Prefecture||Ekimae Stadium||24,130||J1 (15th)|
|Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo||Mihailo Petrović||Kappa|
|Vegalta Sendai||Takashi Kiyama||Adidas|
|Kashima Antlers||Antônio Carlos Zago||Nike|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||Tsuyoshi Otsuki||Nike|
|Kashiwa Reysol||Nelsinho Baptista||YONEX|
|FC Tokyo||Kenta Hasegawa||Umbro|
|Yokohama FC||Takahiro Shimotaira||Soccer Junky|
|Yokohama F. Marinos||Ange Postecoglou||Adidas|
|Shonan Bellmare||Bin Ukishima||Penalty|
|Kawasaki Frontale||Toru Oniki||Puma|
|Shimizu S-Pulse||Peter Cklamovski||Puma|
|Nagoya Grampus||Massimo Ficcadenti||Mizuno|
|Gamba Osaka||Tsuneyasu Miyamoto||Umbro|
|Cerezo Osaka||Miguel Ángel Lotina||Puma|
|Vissel Kobe||Atsuhiro Miura||Asics|
|Sanfrecce Hiroshima||Hiroshi Jofuku||Nike|
|Oita Trinita||Tomohiro Katanosaka||Puma|
|Sagan Tosu||Kim Myung-hwi||New Balance|
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of departure||Date of vacancy||Incoming manager||Date of|
|Vissel Kobe||Thorsten Fink||Change of director||21 September 2020||Atsuhiro Miura||25 September 2020|
|Shimizu S-Pulse||Peter Cklamovski||Sacked||1 November 2020||Hiroaki Hiraoka||1 November 2020|
As of 2020 season, there are no more restrictions on a number of signed foreign players, but clubs can only register up to five foreign players for a single match-day squad.Players from J.League partner nations (Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia and Qatar) are exempt from these restrictions.
|Club||Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Player 4||Player 5||Player 6||Player 7||Player 8||Player 9||Player 10||Former players|
|Consadole Sapporo||Hugo Vieira||Anderson Lopes||Douglas Oliveira||Lucas Fernandes||Jay Bothroyd||Kim Min-tae||Chanathip Songkrasin||Kawin Thamsatchanan||Gu Sung-yun|
|Vegalta Sendai||Pará||Isaac Cuenca||Alexandre Guedes||Jakub Słowik||Simão Mate Junior||Kim Jung-ya|
|Kashima Antlers||Léo Silva||Everaldo||Juan Alano||Kwoun Sun-tae|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||Ewerton||Leonardo||Thomas Deng||Quenten Martinus|| Fabrício |
|FC Tokyo||Adaílton||Arthur Silva||Diego Oliveira||Leandro||Joan Oumari|
|Kawasaki Frontale||Diogo Mateus||Jesiel||Leandro Damião||Jung Sung-ryong|
|Yokohama F. Marinos||Erik||Marcos Júnior||Thiago Martins||Júnior Santos||Theerathon Bunmathan|| Edigar Junio |
|Shonan Bellmare||Tarik Elyounoussi||Riuler|
|Kashiwa Reysol||Michael Olunga||Cristiano||Matheus Sávio||Richardson||Kim Seung-gyu||Júnior Santos|
|Shimizu S-Pulse||Carlinhos||Elsinho||Junior Dutra||Neto Volpi||Renato Augusto||Valdo||Teerasil Dangda||Hwang Seok-ho|
|Yokohama FC||Leandro Domingues||Maguinho||Calvin Jong-a-Pin|
|Nagoya Grampus||Gabriel Xavier||João Schmidt||Mateus||Mitchell Langerak||Oh Jae-suk|
|Gamba Osaka||Ademilson||Patric||Kim Young-gwon||Shin Won-ho||Lee Yun-oh||Jefferson Tabinas|
|Cerezo Osaka||Bruno Mendes||Matej Jonjić||Leandro Desábato||Kim Jin-hyeon||Tawan Khotrsupho||Ahn Joon-soo||Pierce Waring||Lucas Mineiro|
|Vissel Kobe||Dankler||Douglas||Thomas Vermaelen||Andrés Iniesta||Sergi Samper|
|Sanfrecce Hiroshima||Douglas Vieira||Ezequiel||Leandro Pereira||Rhayner|
|Sagan Tosu||Eduardo||Tiago Alves||Renzo Lopez||Cho Dong-geon||An Yong-woo||Park Jeong-su||Ryang Yong-gi||Wang Jianan||Kim Min-ho||Park Iru-gyu|
|Oita Trinita||Mun Kyung-gun|
It was decided on 19 March to change the format regarding the rules for promotion/relegation for the end of the season for the J1, J2 and J3 leagues,such that there would be no relegation this season, that two clubs from the J2 League would be promoted to the 2021 J1 League, and that two clubs from the J3 League would be promoted to the 2021 J2 League (subject to licensing regulations).
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Kawasaki Frontale (C)||34||26||5||3||88||31||+57||83||Qualification for AFC Champions League group stage|
|4||Cerezo Osaka||34||18||6||10||46||37||+9||60||Qualification for AFC Champions League play-off round|
|9||Yokohama F. Marinos||34||14||5||15||69||59||+10||47|
|10||Urawa Red Diamonds||34||13||7||14||43||56||−13||46|
|1||Michael Olunga||Kashiwa Reysol||28|
|3||Leandro Pereira||Sanfrecce Hiroshima||15|
|4||Yu Kobayashi||Kawasaki Frontale||14|
|5||Erik||Yokohama F. Marinos||13|
|Kaoru Mitoma||Kawasaki Frontale|
|Júnior Santos||Yokohama F. Marinos|
|Leandro Damião||Kawasaki Frontale|
|9||Kyogo Furuhashi||Vissel Kobe||12|
|10||Leonardo||Urawa Red Diamonds||11|
|Marcos Júnior||Yokohama F. Marinos|
|Akihiro Ienaga||Kawasaki Frontale|
|Michael Olunga||Kashiwa Reysol||Vegalta Sendai||5–1 (H)||26 July 2020|
|Everaldo||Kashima Antlers||Oita Trinita||4–1 (A)||1 August 2020|
|Naoki Maeda 4||Nagoya Grampus||Urawa Red Diamonds||6–2 (H)||8 August 2020|
|Shun Nagasawa||Vegalta Sendai||Gamba Osaka||4–0 (A)||14 November 2020|
|Júnior Santos||Yokohama F. Marinos||Urawa Red Diamonds||6–2 (H)||14 November 2020|
|Akihiro Ienaga||Kawasaki Frontale||Gamba Osaka||5–0 (H)||25 November 2020|
|2||Yokohama F. Marinos||90,196||34,521||0||6,443||−76.1%|
|6||Urawa Red Diamonds||66,463||9,831||0||5,113||−85.0%|
|15||Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo||47,111||5,359||2,039||3,624||−80.7%|
Updated to games played on 18 October 2020
Source: J. League Data
† Promoted from J2
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