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Japan considering Europeanstyle soccer season – SportsUntapped.com
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Added August 2nd, 2010 by Ian

Japan considering European-style soccer season
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Japan is considering changing the country’s J-League season format to the European style of playing their season from summer or late autumn throughout the winter and into the next spring. Japan Football Association (JFA) new president Junji Ogura is going to try and follow up on his predecessor’s plan of making the change as he thinks it will help the Japanese national team.

Ogura said he hopes the changes can be made for the 18-team league by 2015 at the latest. The league currently plays its games from March until December and hopes to change it to August until May.

Ogura stated on the Asian Football Confederation official website that he hopes to see the changes within the next few years if finances allow it. He said that the FIFA soccer calendar is generally oriented to European-based teams and their schedules and if Japan doesn’t make the change then its players and national squad will eventually suffer quite a bit.

However, to make the change, it’s going to cost quite a few Japanese yen as the clubs will have to spend some money to put in under-soil heating in their existing pitches as the north of Japan can experience some pretty cold winters with a lot of snow.

The 71-year-old Ogura said the change is needed if the country wants to stay competitive when it comes to international games, but everything will need to be carefully planned out ahead of time. He added that the change needs to be done step by step and piece by piece from the north to south.

Ogura is hoping to get some sponsorship by the government and/or private sector so they can get the plan rolling in the near future. However, any decision will have to be agreed on by the JFA and the J-League.

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