The J. League’s first division was finally back at Saitama Stadium on Saturday night, even if the fans weren’t. Surrounded by seats festooned in red, white and black, Urawa Reds and Yokohama F. Marinos battled to a scoreless draw in the J1’s second round, resuming ...
Dan Orlowitz is a sports writer for the Japan Times, focusing primarily on the J. League, Samurai Blue, and everything there is to print about Japanese soccer. A Philadelphia native and graduate of Simon's Rock College, he moved to Japan at the end of 2006 and fell in love with the beautiful game from behind the FC Tokyo goal. His words, photos, voice, and occasionally visage have appeared online, in print, and over the airwaves for numerous outlets in several languages since 2011.
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The league's English-language efforts have coincided with a push to expand its international broadcasting footprint.
A late Kanya Fujimoto penalty kick canceled out Taiki Hirato's early blast in the Tokyo Classic, which took place in an empty Ajinomoto Stadium.
The Japan Football Association has lost its easy route to building momentum for the sport after dropping out of contention for the 2023 World Cup.
The 37-member FIFA Council will now choose between Colombia and a joint Australia-New Zealand bid on Thursday.
The national cup tournament had previously cut most of its J. League participants in order to allow clubs to focus on completing their seasons.
The top-flight J1 League will play as few as two rounds behind closed doors, but players will face frequent midweek games as the league rushes to make up for lost time.
Players and staff will undergo PCR tests every two weeks, while fans will be restricted from singing and cheering during matches.
The WE League has the right message, but delivering on its promises for the sport will take more than a slogan.
The second and third division will restart on June 27, with initial game in all three flights taking place without fans.