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Referees are rarely out of the spotlight in the J. League, but the recent rain-abandoned game between Kashima Antlers and Kawasaki Frontale has turned up the glare.

Intense scrutiny followed Masayoshi Okada’s decision to call off the Sept. 12 top-of-the-table match with only 15 minutes to go, highlighting the enormous pressure officials are under with every action reverberating throughout the league.

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