Football: J-League to push proposed shift to Aug. season start

The J-League said Wednesday it will push ahead with the idea of starting its football season in August, instead of the current February, a move that would bring it into line with top competitions in Europe.

The league relayed the stance in a meeting with representatives from the 60 clubs in the first to third divisions. It intends to make a final decision by the end of the year.

The J-League had maintained an impartial position while holding talks with the clubs on the potential change, which would come into place in 2026 at the earliest.

There have been calls for a shift to the summer start following the reformatting of the Asian Champions League, which moved its start to September from this season.

"I've conveyed a message that we as a league are positive about the season rescheduling," J-League executive Shinji Kubota said.

The J-League expects the shift to help raise the level of performance on the pitch as fewer matches will be played in the severe summer heat. It also anticipates an increase in transfer fees by running the season in parallel with European leagues.

One of the major arguments against the move has been the impact it would have on clubs based in areas with heavy snowfall during the winter months.

A source familiar with the matter said there were a few clubs who opposed the idea.

© Kyodo News