• Kyodo

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The final of next season’s Emperor’s Cup will be moved from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 24, 2018, to accommodate the start of the 2019 Asian Cup, the Japan Football Association announced Tuesday.

The Emperor’s Cup final, to be held at Saitama Stadium, has been moved up to allow Japan internationals more rest before the Asian Cup kicks off in January. The first round of the Emperor’s Cup will start on May 26, 2018, with teams from the J. League’s top two divisions, J1 and J2, joining the fray in the second round from June 6.

The third round begins on July 11 with the fourth round on Aug. 22. The quarterfinals are slated for Oct. 24 and the semifinals planned for Dec. 16.

In case one of the last four teams is taking part in the FIFA Club World Cup, the semifinals will be shifted to Dec. 19.

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