• KYODO

  • SHARE

The J. League first division will play through international windows sanctioned by FIFA when it restarts following a roughly four-month break brought about by the coronavirus crisis, J. League Chairman Mitsuru Murai said Tuesday.

While the J1 normally pauses to accommodate clubs with national team players, it must continue during the international breaks this season to maximize the number of games on its shortened calendar, Murai said in an online press conference.

The chairman indicated J. League players selected for the Japanese national team would be expected to prioritize representing their country over their domestic clubs.

"The strength (of clubs) may be affected by the absence of national team players, but we have to play the games, even if we hear objections," Murai said.

The top flight will resume behind closed doors on July 4, with the J2 and J3 coming back a week earlier. The league is due to release its revised match schedule on June 15.

Japan could play Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on October 8 and 13, as well as November 12 and 17, after the Asian Football Confederation proposed the dates for fixtures originally scheduled to take place in March and June.

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)