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J.League signs deal with fantasy football game Sorare

The J.League has signed a licensing deal with Sorare, allowing for the league, its clubs and players to appear in the game.

The J.League has signed a licensing deal with global fantasy game Sorare, allowing for the league, its clubs and players to appear in the game.

Sorare will begin auctioning digital player cards of the 600 players from the 18 clubs in the J. League.

Clubs from a number of leagues including Bundesliga and La Liga feature in the game. Some of those such as Juventus and West Ham United have also signed agreements to allow their club and players to appear in the game.

“Our ambition is to create a global fantasy football game with the top 20 leagues in the world,” Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia said to cryptocurrency news website Decrypt.

“The J.League is one of the best soccer leagues in Asia with great players such as Andres Iniesta, Isaac Cuenca, and legendary Kazuyoshi Mirua. We’re proud to have convinced J League to license their image rights on Ethereum’s blockchain.”

Sorare uses blockchain cards which are digital collectables. Users make a team with five players and then gain points based off the players performances in real life.

With support from Ubisoft there are four different leagues in which users can compete in with different rules and prizes – the All Star League, Under 23 League, Training League, and weekly challenges.

Sorare said that the player cards have value due to a limited number of cards. There are three levels of rareness for cards – unique, rare (100 copies) and super rare (10 copies).

“Sorare is designed to appeal to football fans’ love of showcasing their knowledge and expressing their fandom, globally,” Sorare said in a statement regarding their partnership.

“Japan is notoriously known for its great gaming culture. More so, soccer is now the 2nd biggest sport in Japan thanks to the Japanese Football Association’s ambitious development strategy. Many new promising players are coming from Japan such as Takumi Minamino, Takefusa Kubo,, or Hiroki Sakai.”

The J.League is not the first Asian league to be included in the game. In June, Sorare signed a deal with the K League. Sorare also announced plans for an in-game Champion Asia League with players from the two Asian leagues.

Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Labor set to deliver infrastructure upgrades to Northern NSW Football clubs

NNSWF

Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) is set to welcome nine promised infrastructure upgrades from the Labor Government following the party’s win at the Federal election.

The commitments are a result of NNSWF’s strategy to lobby Federal MPs as part of its key strategic priority of Places to Play, as well as the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Legacy plan.

The commitments are from Labor candidates standing for election on Saturday.

“We thank sitting MPs and candidates who have made pledges to support football within their electorate,” NNSWF CEO David Eland said in a statement via the organisation.

“One of our priorities as part of our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan is ‘Places to Play’. So these commitments are not a coincidence. They are reflective of the work NNSWF and Member Zone staff have done over a number of years.”

NNSWF launched a comprehensive Facilities Audit in 2018 to capture data on more than 200 football facilities across northern NSW. A priority projects list was established in conjunction with clubs to advocate with all levels of government.

The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy was then released in 2020. From this, NNSWF developed seven Local Infrastructure Strategies consisting of data from the audit and outlined a strategic direction to cater for the increase in participation based on five pillars:

  • Planning for growth and demand
  • Improve existing venue capacity
  • Inclusive football facilities
  • Homes of football
  • Partnerships and investment

“Football is the largest team participation sport in NSW with our current rapid growth certain to continue,” Eland continued.

“We needed to plan for the future and identify the needs of our sport for those that currently play and for those that want to but can’t.

“We identified at the time that there could have been as many as 30,000 additional players across NSW that could have played in 2019 if they had access to a football facility.

“What we are doing is ensuring that football has the infrastructure and facilities to continue to grow into the future and players will have access to quality places to play wherever they are in our region.”

The clubs set to receive much-needed infrastructure upgrades following Labor’s election win are:

  • Wallsend FC, Wallsend DDC ($286,000 for ground improvements, including irrigation on both fields)
  • Newcastle Olympic FC ($625,000 for amenity improvements and a new grandstand)
  • Maitland FC ($2,000,000 to upgrade lighting and to develop new amenities and a function centre)
  • Valentine FC ($184,000 for amenities upgrades)
  • Dudley United Senior FC ($320,000 for gender neutral amenities upgrade, disability access and toilets)
  • Garden Suburbs FC ($400,000 for female friendly changerooms)
  • Singleton Strikers FC (3,000,000 for upgrades to three full fields, multi-use court, upgraded amenities and carpark)
  • Edgeworth FC ($65,000 for fencing, completion of lighting project and completion of dish drainage)
  • Thornton JFC ($150,000 for lighting upgrade to two fields and new lighting to MiniRoos area)

This week’s football funding news ahead of election

Australia’s Federal election commences on Saturday, with the final rounds of funding and promises rolled out across the week.

Both major parties once again made their commitments across various states, both on and off the pitch, and more broadly for issues surrounding community and national sport.

Tasmania and New South Wales will both benefit further from the Morrison Government if re-elected, while other communities and broadcasters were given promises by Labor.

Labor

The Labor Party will commit $2.5M to upgrade the Kariong Sporting Precinct if it wins government on May 21. Based in the NSW suburb of Kariong – just west of Gosford – the upgrades will aim to make the precinct more inclusive.

While the Precinct is host to many different sporting clubs and organisations, it is also home to Kariong United FC.

Announced by Candidate for Robertson, Dr Gordon Reid, and Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, it is an addition to the state-wide focus on investing in female football.

While not funding, Labor leader Anthony Albanese pledged to support local TV and free sporting events, including football events, if elected.

The Labor Party will review anti-siphoning laws if elected to ensure that major sporting events are available for free instead of behind paywalls of streaming services.

Liberal

The Liberal Party announced on Tuesday that it will commit $3.5 million towards the redevelopment of Valley Road if elected after May 21.

Announced by Member for Braddon, Gavin Pearce, the funding would allow Devonport Strikers to complete Stage One of its redevelopment of Valley Road, including increased seating, lighting and pitch upgrades, as well as refurbished clubroom and kitchen facilities.

The funding would be in addition to the State Government funding committed to Valley Road to give the venue the best chance of being selected to host 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup basecamps.

Meanwhile in NSW, it was announced on Monday that $3 million would go to upgrading sporting facilities at Harrie Dening Football Centre and Prince Edward Park in Kareela

The proposed funding will help deliver an equaliser for the Sutherland Shire football community in a state-wide commitment to female football.

The equaliser campaign is designed to support grassroots for clubs to deliver new and improved female friendly facilities.

The funding to Prince Edward Park will go towards raising the oval, sports field lighting, improved car park and playground and fitness space renewals.

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