J1 League

Last updated
J1 League
2019 J1 League logo.svg
Founded1992;29 years ago (1992)
CountryJapan
Confederation AFC
Number of teams 20
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to J2 League
Domestic cup(s) Emperor's Cup
Fuji Xerox Super Cup
League cup(s) YBC Levain Cup
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Current champions Kawasaki Frontale
(3rd title)
(2020 season)
Most championships Kashima Antlers (8 titles)
Top goalscorer Yoshito Ōkubo (179 goals)
TV partners DAZN (Japan only)
NHK
Website www.jleague.jp/en/
Current: 2021 J1 League

The J1 League (Japanese: J1リーグ, Hepburn: Jē-wan Rīgu) or simply J1 is the top division of the Japan Professional Football League (日本プロサッカーリーグ, Nihon Puro Sakkā Rīgu) and the top professional Football J.League in Japan. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] It is one of the most successful leagues in Asian club football. Currently, the J1 League is the first level of the Japanese association football league system. The second tier is represented by the J2 League. It is currently sponsored by Meiji Yasuda Life and thus officially known as the Meiji Yasuda J1 League (Japanese: 明治安田生命J1リーグ). [8] Until the 2014 season it was named the J.League Division 1.

Contents

History

Phases of J1

Before the professional league (1992 and earlier)

Before the inception of the J.League, the highest level of club football was the Japan Soccer League (JSL), which consisted of amateur clubs. [9] [10] Despite being well-attended during the boom of the late 1960s and early 1970s (when Japan's national team won the bronze Olympic medal at the 1968 games in Mexico), the JSL went into decline in the 1980s, in general line with the deteriorating situation worldwide. Fans were few, the grounds were not of the highest quality, and the Japanese national team was not on a par with the Asian powerhouses. To raise the level of play domestically, to attempt to garner more fans, and to strengthen the national team, the Japan Football Association (JFA) decided to form a professional league.

The professional association football league, J.League was formed in 1992, with eight clubs drawn from the JSL First Division, one from the Second Division, and the newly formed Shimizu S-Pulse. At the same time, JSL changed its name and became the former Japan Football League, a semi-professional league. Although the J.League did not officially launch until 1993, the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup competition was held between the ten clubs in 1992 to prepare for the inaugural season.

Inaugural season and J.League boom (1993–1995)

J.League officially kicked off its first season with ten clubs in early 1993.

After the boom (1996–1999)

Despite the success in the first three years, in early 1996 the league attendance declined rapidly. In 1997 the average attendance was 10,131, compared to more than 19,000 in 1994. Notably, Arsene Wenger managed Nagoya Grampus Eight during this period.

Change of infrastructure and game formats (1999–2004)

The league's management finally realized that they were heading in the wrong direction. In order to solve the problem, the management came out with two solutions.

First, they announced the J.League Hundred Year Vision, in which they aim to make 100 professional association football clubs in the nation of Japan by 2092, the hundredth season. The league also encouraged the clubs to promote football or non-football related sports and health activities, to acquire local sponsorships, and to build good relationship with their hometowns at the grass-root level. The league believed that this will allow the clubs to bond with their respective cities and towns and get support from local government, companies, and citizens. In other words, clubs will be able to rely on the locals, rather than major national sponsors.

Second, the infrastructure of the league was heavily changed in 1999. The league acquired nine clubs from the semi-professional JFL and one club from J.League to create a two division system. The top flight became the J.League Division 1 (J1) with 16 clubs while J.League Division 2 (J2) was launched with ten clubs in 1999. The former second-tier Japan Football League now became the third-tier Japan Football League.

Also, until 2004 (with the exception of 1996 season), the J1 season was divided into two. At the end of each full season, the champion from each half played a two-legged series to determine the overall season winner and runners-up. Júbilo Iwata in 2002, and Yokohama F. Marinos in 2003, won both "halves" of the respective seasons, thus eliminating the need for the playoff series. This was the part of the reason the league abolished the split-season system starting from 2005.

European League Format & AFC Champions League (2005–2008)

Since the 2005 season, J.League Division 1 consisted of 18 clubs (from 16 in 2004) and the season format became more similar to European club football. The number of relegated clubs also increased from 2 to 2.5, with the 3rd-to-last club going into the promotion/relegation playoffs with the third-placed J2 club. Since then, other than minor adjustments, the top flight has stayed consistent.

Japanese teams did not treat the AFC Champions League that seriously in the early years, in part due to the distances travelled and teams played. However, in the 2008 Champions League, three Japanese sides made the quarter-finals. [11]

However, in recent years, with the inclusion of the A-League in Eastern Asia, introduction to the Club World Cup, and increased marketability in the Asian continent, both the league and the clubs paid more attention to Asian competition. For example, Kawasaki Frontale built up a notable fan base in Hong Kong, owing to their participation in the Asian Champions League during the 2007 season. [12] Continuous effort led to the success of Urawa Red Diamonds in 2007 and Gamba Osaka in 2008. Thanks to excellent league management and competitiveness in Asian competition, the AFC awarded J.League the highest league ranking and a total of four slots starting from the 2009 season. The league took this as an opportunity to sell TV broadcasting rights to foreign countries, especially in Asia.

Also starting from the 2008 season, the Emperor's Cup Winner was allowed to participate in the upcoming Champions League season, rather than waiting a whole year (i.e. 2005 Emperor's Cup winner, Tokyo Verdy, participated in the 2007 ACL season, instead of the 2006 season). In order to fix this one-year lag issue, the 2007 Emperor's Cup winner, Kashima Antlers' turn was waived. Nonetheless, Kashima Antlers ended up participating in the 2009 ACL season by winning the J.League title in the 2008 season.

Modern phase (2009–2016)

Three major changes were seen starting in the 2009 season. First, starting that season, four clubs entered the AFC Champions League. Secondly, the number of relegation slots increased to three. Finally, the AFC Player slot was implemented starting this season. Each club will be allowed to have a total of four foreign players; however, one slot is reserved for a player that derives from an AFC country other than Japan. Also, as a requirement of being a member of the Asian Football Confederation, the J.League Club Licence regulations started in 2012 as one criterion of whether a club was allowed to stay in its division or to be promoted to a higher tier in professional level league. No major changes happened to J.League Division 1 as the number of clubs stayed at 18.

In 2015 the J.League Division 1 was renamed J1 League. Also, the tournament format was changed to a three-stage system. The season was split into first and second stages, followed by a third and final championship stage. The third stage was composed of three to five teams. The top point accumulator in each stage and the top three point accumulators for the overall season qualified. If both of the stage winners finished in the top three teams for the season, then only three teams qualified for the championship stage. These teams then took part in a championship playoff stage to decide the winner of the league trophy.

Future (2017–)

Despite the new multi-stage format being initially reported as locked in for five seasons, due to a negative reaction from hardcore fans, and a failure to appeal to casual fans, towards the end of the 2016 it was abandoned in favour of a return to a single-stage system. [13] From 2017, the team which accumulates the most points will be named champion, with no championship stage taking place at the season's end, and from 2018, the bottom two clubs are relegated and the 16th-placed club enters a playoff with the J2 club that wins a promotion playoff series. [14] If the J2 playoff winner prevails, the club is promoted, with the J1 club being relegated, otherwise the J1 club can retain its position in J1 League with the promotion failure of the J2 club.

In November 2017, Urawa Red Diamonds played the AFC Champions League final against Al Hilal. After a draw in the first leg, Urawa Red Diamonds won the second leg 1-0 and were crowned Asian Champions. In the past 10–15 years, Japanese clubs have risen not only continentally, but also internationally. Clubs Gamba Osaka and Urawa Red Diamonds have been crowned Asian champions and participated in the Club World Cup, always targeting at least the semi-finals. Kashima Antlers were finalists of the 2016 edition and eventually lost to Real Madrid.

Timeline

YearImportant events# J clubs# ACL clubsRele. slots
1989
  • JFA forms a professional league assessment committee.
1990
  • The committee decides the criteria for professional clubs
  • Fifteen to twenty clubs from Japan Soccer League applies for the professional league membership
1992
1993
  • The J.League officially kicks off its first season
10
199412
1995
  • Following clubs are promoted from Japan Football League: Cerezo Osaka and Kashiwa Reysol
  • The points system is introduced for the first time: a club receives 3 pts for any win, 1 pt for PK loss, and 0 pts for regulation or extra time loss.
14
1996
  • Following clubs are promoted from Japan Football League: Kyoto Purple Sanga and Avispa Fukuoka
  • The league adopts single season format
  • J.League average attendance hits the record low 10,131
16
1997
  • Following club is promoted from Japan Football League: Vissel Kobe
  • The league goes back to split-season format
  • The points system changes: a club receives 3 pts for a regulation win, 2 pts for extra-time win, 1 pt for PK win, and 0 pts for any loss.
17
1998
  • Following club is promoted from Japan Football League: Consadole Sapporo
  • Yokohama Flügels announce that they will be dissolved into crosstown rivals Yokohama Marinos for the 1999 season
  • The league announces the J.League Hundred Year Vision
  • The league announces incorporation of two-division system for the 1999 season
  • The league hosts J.League Promotion Tournament to decide to promote and/or relegate clubs. As a result, Consadole Sapporo becomes the first club be to relegated.
18
1999
  • Yokohama Marinos merge with Yokohama Flügels to become Yokohama F. Marinos
  • Penalty kick shootouts are abolished in both divisions; however, golden goal extra-time rules stayed
  • The points system changes: a club receives 3 pts for a regulation win, 2 pts for an extra time win, and 1 pt for a tie
  • Japan Football League (former) is also restructured, as it becomes the 3rd-tier Japan Football League.
Note: To distinguish between the former and the current JFL, the new JFL is pronounced Nihon Football League in Japanese.
162
2000 162
2001 162
2002 1622
2003
  • Extra time is abolished in Division 1 and traditional 3–1–0 points system is adopted
162
2004
  • No automatic relegation this season, as the top flight expands to 18 clubs in the following season
  • Inception of the two-legged Promotion/Relegation Series
1620.5
2005
  • J.League Division 1 expands to 18 clubs
  • J.League Division 1 adopts single-season format
1822.5
2006 1822.5
2007
Note: If a Japanese club wins the AFC Champions League, the host loses its right.
1822.5
2008 182 + 12.5
2009
  • Four clubs enter AFC Champions League.
  • Implementation of a 4th foreign player slot, a.k.a. AFC player slot
  • Promotion/Relegation Series is eliminated and 16th-place club is now relegated by default.
1843
2010 1843
2011 1843
2015
  • J.League reinstates split-season format for the next five seasons.
  • J.League champion qualifies to the FIFA Club World Cup as the host for the next two seasons again.
1843
2016
  • J.League champion qualifies to the FIFA Club World Cup as the host.
  • Kashima Antlers reaches the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup Final becoming the first Asian club and only Japanese club to reach the Final, finishing with the silver medal.
1843
2017
  • J.League reinstates single-season format after only two seasons.
  • Urawa Red Diamonds wins the 2017 AFC Champions League becoming the first Japanese club to win this competition twice.
1843
2018
  • J.League implements entry playoff between 16th J1 club and J2 playoffs winner.
  • Kashima Antlers wins the 2018 AFC Champions League becoming only the third Japanese club to win this competition. Kashima goes on to finish 4th at 2018 FIFA Club World Cup, the best performance by a Japanese club in a FIFA World Cup held overseas outside of Japanese soil.
1842.5
2019
  • J.League implements a new foreigners rule. J1, J2 and J3 clubs can recruit as many foreign players as they desire, but only 5 (J1) or 4 (J2&J3) can be in the matchday squad. The "Asian slot" is removed. Players from certain J.League partner nations such as Thailand, Vietnam, etc. are not counted as foreigners.
1842.5
2020 1830
2021
  • League expansion to 20 clubs
2034

2021 season

League format

Eighteen clubs will play in double round-robin (home and away) format, a total of 34 games each. A club receives 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss. The clubs are ranked by points, and tiebreakers are, in the following order:

A draw would be conducted, if necessary. However, if two clubs are tied for first place, both clubs will be declared as co-champions. The top three clubs will qualify to the following year's AFC Champions League, while the bottom two clubs will be relegated to J2. The third club will play a playoff against the J2 playoffs-winning team.

Prize money (2020 figures)

In addition to the prize, top 4 clubs are awarded with the following funds.

J league funds distributed to top 4 clubs (from 2017)

[15]

Participating clubs

Japan location map zoom Tokai, Hokuriku, and Kansai.png
2020 J1 League teams in Keihanshin
ClubYear
joined
Seasons
in J1
Based inFirst season in
top flight
Seasons in
top flight
Current spell in
top flight
Last title
Kashima Antlers 199328Southwestern cities/towns of Ibaraki 1985/86311993–2016
Avispa Fukuoka 19969 Fukuoka, Fukuoka 199692021–
Shonan Bellmare 199413South and central cities/town in Kanagawa 1972312018–1981
Cerezo Osaka 199520 Osaka & Sakai, Osaka 1965462017–1980
Consadole Sapporo 19989All cities/towns in Hokkaidō 1989/90122017–
Yokohama F. Marinos 199328 Yokohama, Yokosuka & Yamato 1979401982–2019
Kawasaki Frontale 1999 (J2)17 Kawasaki, Kanagawa 1977192005–2020
Gamba Osaka 199327North cities in Osaka 1986/87342014–2014
Nagoya Grampus 199327All cities/towns in Aichi 1973352018–2010
Urawa Red Diamonds 199327 Saitama 1965532001–2006
Kashiwa Reysol 199523 Kashiwa, Chiba 1965472020–2011
Shimizu S-Pulse 1993 (J)27 Shizuoka 1993272017–
Sagan Tosu 1999 (J2)9 Tosu, Saga 201292012–
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 199326 Hiroshima, Hiroshima 1965482009–2015
FC Tokyo 1999 (J2)20Chofu2000202012–
Oita Trinita 1999 (J2)10All cities/towns in Ōita 2003102019–
Vegalta Sendai 1999 (J2)13 Sendai, Miyagi 2002132010–
Vissel Kobe 199722 Kobe, Hyōgo 1997222014–
Tokushima Vortis 2005 (J2)1All cities/towns in Tokushima 201412021–
Yokohama FC 2001 (J2)2 Yokohama, Kanagawa 200722020–

Source for teams participating: [16]

Stadiums (2021)

Primary venues used in the J1 League:

Urawa Red Diamonds Kashima Antlers Shimizu S-Pulse Gamba Osaka Yokohama F. Marinos Kawasaki Frontale Shonan Bellmare
Saitama Stadium 2002 Kashima Soccer Stadium IAI Stadium Nihondaira Panasonic Stadium Suita Nissan Stadium Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka
Capacity: 63,700Capacity: 40,728Capacity: 20,339Capacity: 40,000Capacity: 72,370Capacity: 26,000Capacity: 15,200
Saitama Stadium Panorama.jpg Kashima Soccer Stadium 5.jpg Nihondaira stadium20090412.jpg Suita City Football Stadium.jpg NISSANSTADIUM20080608.JPG Todoroki 100911.JPG Hiratsukakyogijo1.jpg
Vissel Kobe Nagoya Grampus Cerezo Osaka Kashiwa Reysol Yokohama FC
Noevir Stadium Kobe Paloma Mizuho Stadium Toyota Stadium Yanmar Stadium Nagai Nagai Ball Game Field Sankyo Frontier Kashiwa Stadium Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium
Capacity: 30,132Capacity: 27,000Capacity: 45,000Capacity: 47,816Capacity: 19,904Capacity: 15,349Capacity: 15,454
Inside View of Kobe Wing Stadium.jpg Mizuho Stadium 1.JPG Nagoya Grampus game in Toyota Stadium 100814.JPG Nagai stadium20040717.jpg NagaiBall141214-01.JPG Kashiwa20120311-1.JPG Mitsuzawa100502.JPG
Vegalta Sendai Consadole Sapporo Sagan Tosu FC Tokyo Oita Trinita Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Yurtec Stadium Sendai Sapporo Dome Sapporo Atsubetsu Stadium Ekimae Real Estate Stadium Ajinomoto Stadium Showa Denko Dome Oita Edion Stadium Hiroshima
Capacity: 19,694Capacity: 41,484Capacity: 20,861Capacity: 24,490Capacity: 50,100Capacity: 40,000Capacity: 36,906
Sendaistadium2.JPG Sapporodome201108172.JPG Atsubetsu Stadium 1.JPG Tosu Stadium 20110508.JPG Ajinomoto Stadium 20101120.JPG Ooita Stadium20090514.jpg Bigarch050423.jpg
Avispa Fukuoka Tokushima Vortis
Best Denki Stadium Pocarisweat Stadium
Capacity: 21,562Capacity: 20,441
Hakata no mori stadium-day.jpg Naruto-athletic-stadium.jpg

Former clubs

ClubYear
Joined
Seasons
in J1
Based inFirst season in
top flight
Seasons in
top flight
Last spell in
top flight
Last
title
Current
league
Albirex Niigata 1999 (J2)14 Niigata & Seirō, Niigata 2004142004–2017J2
Omiya Ardija 1999 (J2)12 Saitama 2005122016–2017J2
Yokohama Flügels 19936 Yokohama, Kanagawa 1985/86111988/89–1998Defunct
JEF United Chiba 199317 Chiba & Ichihara, Chiba 1965441965–20091985/86J2
Júbilo Iwata 199424 Iwata, Shizuoka 1980332016–20192002J2
Montedio Yamagata 1999 (J2)4All cities/towns in Yamagata 200942015J2
Kyoto Sanga 199611Southwestern cities/towns in Kyoto 1996112008–2010J2
V-Varen Nagasaki 2013 (J2)1All cities/towns in Nagasaki 201812018J2
Ventforet Kofu 1999 (J2)8All cities/towns in Yamanashi 200682013–2017J2
Tokyo Verdy 199314Tokyo19782820081994J2
Matsumoto Yamaga 2012 (J2)2Central cities/village in Nagano 201522019J2

Statistics

Championship history

YearChampionsRunners-up
1993
Verdy Kawasaki Kashima Antlers
1994
Verdy Kawasaki Sanfrecce Hiroshima
1995
Yokohama F. Marinos Verdy Kawasaki
1996
Kashima Antlers Nagoya Grampus Eight
1997
Júbilo Iwata Kashima Antlers
1998
Kashima Antlers Júbilo Iwata
1999
Júbilo Iwata Shimizu S-Pulse
2000
Kashima Antlers Yokohama F. Marinos
2001
Kashima Antlers Júbilo Iwata
2002
Júbilo Iwata Yokohama F. Marinos
2003
Yokohama F. Marinos Júbilo Iwata
2004
Yokohama F. Marinos Urawa Red Diamonds
2005
Gamba Osaka Urawa Red Diamonds
2006
Urawa Red Diamonds Kawasaki Frontale
2007
Kashima Antlers Urawa Red Diamonds
2008
Kashima Antlers Kawasaki Frontale
2009
Kashima Antlers Kawasaki Frontale
2010
Nagoya Grampus Gamba Osaka
2011
Kashiwa Reysol Nagoya Grampus
2012
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Vegalta Sendai
2013
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Yokohama F. Marinos
2014
Gamba Osaka Urawa Red Diamonds
2015
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Gamba Osaka
2016
Kashima Antlers Urawa Red Diamonds
2017
Kawasaki Frontale Kashima Antlers
2018
Kawasaki Frontale Sanfrecce Hiroshima
2019
Yokohama F. Marinos FC Tokyo
2020
Kawasaki Frontale Gamba Osaka

Most successful clubs

Clubs in bold compete in top flight for the 2021 season.

ClubChampionsRunners-UpWinning SeasonsRunners-Up Seasons
Kashima Antlers
8
3
1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 20161993, 1997, 2017
Yokohama F. Marinos
4
3
1995, 2003, 2004, 20192000, 2002, 2013
Júbilo Iwata
3
3
1997, 1999, 20021998, 2001, 2003
Kawasaki Frontale
3
3
2017, 2018, 20202006, 2008, 2009
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
3
2
2012, 2013, 20151994, 2018
Gamba Osaka
2
3
2005, 20142010, 2015, 2020
Tokyo Verdy
2
1
1993, 19941995
Urawa Red Diamonds
1
5
20062004, 2005, 2007, 2014, 2016
Nagoya Grampus
1
2
20101996, 2011
Kashiwa Reysol
1
0
2011
Shimizu S-Pulse
0
1
1999
Vegalta Sendai
0
1
2012
FC Tokyo
0
1
2019

Relegation history

Only four clubs have never been relegated from J1. Among those, only two clubs – Kashima Antlers and Yokohama F. Marinos – have been participating in every league season since its establishment in 1993. Sagan Tosu were promoted to the first division in 2012, and remain there ever since. The former J.League club Yokohama Flügels never experienced relegation before their merger with Yokohama Marinos in 1999.

JEF United Chiba holds the record for the longest top flight participation streak of 44 consecutive seasons in the first divisions of JSL and J.League that lasted since the establishment of JFL in 1965 and ended with their relegation in 2009. The longest ongoing top flight streak belongs to Yokohama F. Marinos who play in the top flight since 1982 (40 seasons as of 2020).

The 1998 season

When the league introduced the two-division system in 1999, they also reduced number of Division 1 club from 18 to 16. At the end of 1998 season, they hosted the J.League Promotion Tournament to determine two relegating clubs.

Split-season era (1999–2004, 2015–2016)

Throughout 1999 to 2003 seasons, two bottom clubs were relegated to Division 2. To accommodate for split-season format, combined overall standings were used to determine the relegating clubs. This created a confusing situation, where for the championship race stage standing were used, while overall standing was used for relegation survival.

At end of the 2004 season, Division 1 again expanded from 16 to 18 clubs. No clubs were relegated; however, last-placed (16th) club had to play Promotion/Relegation Series against 3rd placed club from J2. Again, to determine 16th placed club, overall standing was used instead of stage standing.

For two seasons starting in 2015, three bottom clubs were relegated based on overall standings.

Single season era (2005–2014, 2017–2019, 2022–future)

For the next four seasons, 2005 to 2008, the number of relegating clubs was increased to 2.5, with two clubs from each division being promoted and relegated directly, and two more (15th in J1 and 3rd in J2) competed in Promotion/Relegation Series.

In 2009, the pro/rele series were abandoned and three teams are directly exchanged between divisions. In 2012, promotion playoffs were introduced in J2, allowing teams that finished from 3rd to 6th to compete for J1 promotion place. For the 2018 and 2019 seasons and from 2022, the bottom two teams are relegated and the entry playoff has the 16th team play the J2 playoff winner.

Single season era (2021)

No teams descended to J2 after the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan and its effects. [17] Instead, four relegations are in place for the 2021 season, bringing back the number of teams from 20 to 18. [18]

Summary
Year15th Place16th Place17th Place18th Place
1998 JEF United Ichihara Consadole Sapporo Vissel Kobe Avispa Fukuoka
1999 Urawa Red Diamonds Bellmare Hiratsuka Only 16 clubs participated
2000 Kyoto Purple Sanga Kawasaki Frontale
2001 Avispa Fukuoka Cerezo Osaka
2002 Sanfrecce Hiroshima Consadole Sapporo
2003 Vegalta Sendai Kyoto Purple Sanga
2004 Cerezo Osaka Kashiwa Reysol
2005 Shimizu S-Pulse Kashiwa Reysol Tokyo Verdy 1969 Vissel Kobe
2006 Ventforet Kofu Avispa Fukuoka Cerezo Osaka Kyoto Purple Sanga
2007 Omiya Ardija Sanfrecce Hiroshima Ventforet Kofu Yokohama FC
2008 JEF United Chiba Júbilo Iwata Tokyo Verdy Consadole Sapporo
2009 Montedio Yamagata Kashiwa Reysol Oita Trinita JEF United Chiba
2010 Vissel Kobe FC Tokyo Kyoto Sanga Shonan Bellmare
2011 Urawa Red Diamonds Ventforet Kofu Avispa Fukuoka Montedio Yamagata
2012 Albirex Niigata Vissel Kobe Gamba Osaka Consadole Sapporo
2013 Ventforet Kofu Shonan Bellmare Júbilo Iwata Oita Trinita
2014 Shimizu S-Pulse Omiya Ardija Cerezo Osaka Tokushima Vortis
2015 Albirex Niigata Matsumoto Yamaga Shimizu S-Pulse Montedio Yamagata
2016 Albirex Niigata Nagoya Grampus Shonan Bellmare Avispa Fukuoka
2017 Sanfrecce Hiroshima Ventforet Kofu Albirex Niigata Omiya Ardija
2018 Nagoya Grampus Júbilo Iwata Kashiwa Reysol V-Varen Nagasaki
2019 Sagan Tosu Shonan Bellmare Matsumoto Yamaga Júbilo Iwata
2020 Yokohama FC Shimizu S-Pulse Vegalta Sendai Shonan Bellmare
Year17th Place18th Place19th Place20th Place
2021 TBDTBDTBDTBD

* Bold designates relegated clubs;
† Won the Pro/Rele Series or entry playoff;
‡ Lost the Pro/Rele Series or entry playoff and relegated

Other tournaments

Domestic tournaments
International tournaments
Defunct tournament

Players and managers

Players

Managers

Media coverage

Japan

All J1 matches are streamed live through DAZN until 2028 season, with selected matches also televised live plus highlights of other matches also available on public broadcaster NHK. [19]

Outside Japan

The league is currently covered internationally (excluding China) by NHK World Premium (Japanese audio only) [20] and Dentsu. [21] [22]

2020-2022

Country/regionBroadcaster
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Optus Sport [23]
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Sportdigital DACH
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland
Flag of Brunei.svg  Brunei Astro SuperSport
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China K-Ball CHN

FTA and pay (regional television)

IPTV

  • Wasu

Streaming

Balkans Sport Klub
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong i-Cable
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia Media Nusantara Citra
Kompas Gramedia Group
Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland FreeSports [24]
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel Sport 5
Flag of Macau.svg  Macau TDM
Flag of the Arab League.svg  MENA Dubai Sports
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan ELTA
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand MCOT


^CHN – as main distributor, including J2 matches

^DACH – starting from MW2 in 2020 season

See also

Soccer/Football
League system
Domestic cup
Futsal
Beach soccer

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Sanfrecce Hiroshima is a Japanese professional football club based in Asaminami-ku, Hiroshima. The club plays in the J1 League, which is the top tier of football in the country.

JEF United Chiba

JEF United Chiba, full name JEF United Ichihara Chiba and also known as JEF Chiba, is a Japanese professional football club that plays in the J2 League. On 1 February 2005, the club changed its name from JEF United Ichihara to the current name after Chiba city had joined Ichihara, Chiba as its hometown in 2003. Of its club name, JEF is taken from the JR East and Furukawa Electric companies and United is meant to represent the unity of the club and its home city.

J.League Japans professional association football (soccer) league

The J.League, officially Japan Professional Football League is Japan's professional football league including the first division J1 League, second division J2 League and third division J3 League of the Japanese association football league system. J1 League is one of the most successful leagues in Asian club football. It is currently sponsored by Meiji Yasuda Life and thus officially known as the Meiji Yasuda J.League.

Yokohama Flügels

Yokohama Flügels was a Japanese football club that played in the J.League between 1993 and 1998. The club was an original member of the J.League in 1993. In 1999 the club was officially merged with local rivals Yokohama Marinos and the two teams became known together as Yokohama F. Marinos. However, many Flügels fans refused to support the new Marinos and created their own club, Yokohama FC, as they felt that the Flügels had been dissolved rather than merged with.

The 2009 J.League Division 1 season is the 45th season of the top-flight club football in Japan and the 17th season since the establishment of J1 League. The season started on March 7, 2009 and ended on December 5, 2009.

The 2013 J.League Division 1 season was the 48th season of Japanese top-flight football and 21st since the establishment of the J.League. The season began on 2 March and finished on 7 December.

The 2013 Kashiwa Reysol season was Kashiwa Reysol's 3rd season back in the J.League Division 1 since promotion in 2010, making it their 41st season in the top flight overall. They finished 10th in the league, won the J.League Cup and were knocked out of the Emperor's Cup and AFC Champions League at the fourth round Semifinals respectively.

Japanese football in 2013.

The 2013 Vegalta Sendai season was Vegalta Sendai's fourth consecutive season and sixth season overall in J.League Division 1. As a result of their runner-up finish in the 2012 season, the team competed in the 2013 AFC Champions League. Sendai also competed in the 2013 Emperor's Cup and 2013 J.League Cup. It was manager Makoto Teguramori's last season with the club, having accepted a position as head coach of the Japan U-23 team. In mid-season Vegalta Sendai revealed that the A-League's Graham Arnold would manage the team beginning in 2014 season.

The 2014 Vegalta Sendai season is Vegalta Sendai's fifth consecutive season and seventh season overall in J.League Division 1. Graham Arnold managed the team to start the season, but he parted ways with the club after taking just two points from the first six games. Arnold identified the advanced age of the Vegalta roster, with 17 players over the age of 30, as a factor in the team's poor performance and his split with management. Susumu Watanabe, a former assistant coach, succeeded Arnold as manager.

The 2014 Nagoya Grampus season was Nagoya Grampus' 22nd season in the J.League Division 1 and 32nd overall in the Japanese top flight. It is Akira Nishino's first season as manager after replacing Dragan Stojković in the off-season. They finished the season in 10th place, reaching the Quarter Finals of the Emperor's Cup whilst failing to progress from the group stages of the J.League Cup.

The 2014 season is Yokohama F. Marinos' 43rd season of competitive football – its thirty-third season in the top division of Japanese football and its fifteenth season under its current name, since the merger of Yokohama Marinos and Yokohama Flügels in 1999.

The 2014 season was Sanfrecce Hiroshima's sixth consecutive season in J.League Division 1, and 44th overall in the Japanese top flight. Sanfrecce Hiroshima also competed in the Emperor's Cup, J.League Cup, Japanese Super Cup, and the AFC Champions League.

2013 Albirex Niigata season.

2014 Albirex Niigata season.

References

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