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J.League season to begin on March 1

Kyodo

The J.League’s board of directors on Tuesday approved March 1 as the starting date of next year’s season.

The first-division (J1) with 18 teams playing a home-and-away format will take the field on March 1, with the second division (J2) starting the following day and the newly created third division (J3) opening March 9.

The J1 will take a World Cup hiatus following the 14th round of games on May 17 and will resume play on July 19. The final J1 games are scheduled for Dec. 6, while the J2 and J3 will wrap up Nov. 23.

As has been the case the past two seasons, the J2 champions and runners-up will earn automatic promotion to the J1 for 2015, while the teams placing third through sixth will enter a promotion playoff.

The Nabisco Cup first-round games will begin March 19. The Fuji Xerox Super Cup between J.League champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima and the winner of the Emperor’s Cup will be played Feb. 22 at National Stadium.