WE League

Last updated
Women Empowerment League
WE League Japan logo.svg
Founded3 June 2020;12 months ago (2020-06-03)
First season 2021–22
Country Japan
Confederation AFC
Divisions1
Number of teams 11
Level on pyramid 1
Domestic cup(s) Empress's Cup
International cup(s) AFC Club Championship
Website weleague.jp
Current: 2021–22 WE League season

The Women Empowerment League (日本女子サッカーリーグ), or simply WE League (WEリーグ[うぃーりーぐ]), will be the top flight of women's association football in Japan, starting from the 2021–22 season. It will be the first fully-professional women's football league in Japan.

Contents

History

On 3 June 2020, the Japan Football Association announced the formation of the WE League to become Japan's new top-flight, professional women's football league. [1] The semi-professional Nadeshiko League will become the second level on the women's football pyramid in Japan once the WE League begins play in the autumn of 2021. Each team in the WE League must have at least five players signed to fully professional contracts that are not subject to a salary cap. [2]

17 clubs applied to join the WE League; eight to ten of them would be admitted and the results to be announced in October 2020. [3] On 15 October 2020, 11 clubs were announced as founding members of the WE League, including seven with J. League affiliations. [4]

Competition format

The WE League's inaugural season in 2021–22 will feature 11 teams, playing a double round-robin, home-and-away competition. Unlike the Nadeshiko League, the WE League will play a winter season that conforms with most European leagues. [5]

Similar to the American National Women's Soccer League, there will be no relegation from the WE League to the Nadeshiko League, but teams may be promoted from the latter in the first several seasons for the WE League to reach a desired number of teams. [5]

Clubs

2021–22 season

The following 11 clubs will compete in the WE League during its inaugural, 2021–22 season. [4]

ClubPosition
in 2020
First season in
top division
First season in
WE League
First season of
current spell in
top division
Top
division
titles
Most
recent top
division title
Mynavi Sendai 20132021–2220130
Urawa Reds 19992021–22199942020
Omiya Ardija Ventus 2021–222021–222021–220
Elfen Saitama 20022021–222021–220
JEF United Chiba 20002021–2220090
NTV Tokyo Verdy Beleza 19892021–221989172019
Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara 20172021–2220170
AC Nagano Parceiro 20032021–222021–220
Albirex Niigata 20072021–2220070
INAC Kobe Leonessa 20062021–22200632013
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Regina 2021–222021–222021–22

See also

Related Research Articles

The J1 League or simply J1 is the top division of the Japan Professional Football League and the top professional Football J.League in Japan. 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. Until the 2014 season it was named the J.League Division 1.

Emperors Cup Football tournament

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Japan Football Association

The Japan Football Association (JFA) is the governing body responsible for the administration of football in Japan. It is responsible for the national team, as well as club competitions.

Nadeshiko League Japanese association football league

The Japan Women's Football League, commonly known as the Nadeshiko League, is a women's association football league in Japan.

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.

Japan womens national football team Womens national association football team representing Japan

The Japan women's national football team, or nicknamed Nadeshiko Japan (なでしこジャパン), represents Japan in women's association football and is run by the Japan Football Association (JFA). It is the most successful women's national team from the Asian Football Confederation. Its highest ranking in the FIFA Women's World Rankings is 3rd, achieved in December 2011.

Japan Football League Football league

The Japan Football League, also known as simply the JFL is the 4th tier of the Japanese association football league system, positioned beneath the three divisions of the J.League. The league features fully professional teams that hold J.League associate membership among its ranks.

Homare Sawa

Homare Sawa is a former Japanese professional women's football player. She captained the Japan national team to 2011 World Cup title and the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2012, she was named the 2011 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year. She previously played for the Atlanta Beat of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), Nippon TV Beleza, the Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), and INAC Kobe Leonessa in the Nadeshiko League Division 1.

The Empress's Cup All-Japan Women's Soccer Championship Tournament, or The Empress's Cup, is a Japanese Women's football competition. As an elimination tournament, it can be considered the female counterpart to the men's Emperor's Cup. The name "Empress's Cup" has been used since the 2012 season as the Empress's Cup trophy was founded in that year.

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Japanese Regional Leagues are a group of parallel association football leagues in Japan that are organized on the regional basis. They form the fifth tier of the Japanese association football league system below the nationwide Japan Football League.

Mana Iwabuchi

Mana Iwabuchi is a Japanese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Arsenal of the English FA Women's Super League (WSL) and the Japan women's national football team.

The J2 League or simply J2 is the second division of the Japan Professional Football League and the second level of the Japanese association football league system. The top tier is represented by the J1 League. It is currently sponsored by Meiji Yasuda Life and it is thus officially known as the Meiji Yasuda J2 League. Until the 2014 season it was named the J.League Division 2.

Womens football in Japan

Women's football in Japan is one of the rising powers of women's football.

The Nadeshiko League Cup is a cup competition for women's football clubs in Japan. The competition began as the L.League Cup in 1996 and it was abolished after the 1999 edition. It reappeared on the occasion of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, under the name Nadeshiko League Cup.

J3 League Football league

J3 League or simply J3 is the third division of Japan Professional Football League that has established a third-tier professional association football league in Japan starting in 2013.

Omiya Ardija Ventus Football club

Omiya Ardija Ventus (大宮アルディージャVentus) is a Japanese women's association football team which plays in WE League. and become the women's section of J. League club Omiya Ardija.

Japan 2023 FIFA Womens World Cup bid

The Japan bid for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup was a bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup by Japan Football Association (JFA). The single bid was announced on 12 December 2019. The bid entailed 8 venues in 8 host cities, with a final to have been played in Tokyo at the New National Stadium. The bid was withdrawn on 22 June 2020, with the JFA indicating support for the Australia-New Zealand bid.

The 2020 Nadeshiko League was the 32nd season of the Nadeshiko League, the main league for women's association football in Japan. It was also the 16th season in its current format.

References

  1. "Japan's first ever Women's Professional Football League, [WE League] to kick off in autumn 2021". JFA. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  2. "Soccer: New Japan women's pro competition dubbed 'WE League'". The Mainichi. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. Orlowitz, Dan (1 August 2020). "WE League receives unexpectedly high number of applicants for inaugural season". Japan Times. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  4. 1 2 Orlowitz, Dan (15 October 2020). "Japan women's pro soccer WE League reveals 11 clubs for first season". Japan Times. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  5. 1 2 "Football: New women's pro competition dubbed "WE League"". Kyodo News. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.