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J.League to reintroduce VAR from 2021

J.League has announced that it will be reintroducing VAR for Meji Yasuda J1 League matches for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

J.League has announced that it will be reintroducing Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for Meji Yasuda J1 League matches for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

In September 2019, it was announced that would be implementing VAR for the 2020 season, however nine days into the season it was announced that the competition was being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four months later upon the restart of the league it was also decided that VAR would not be used for the rest of the season. J.League said that this was due to its “tight schedule and limited number of referees.”

VAR will be implemented for a total of 394 matches during the 2021 season – this includes 380 Meji Yasuda J1 League matches, one Super Cup match and 13 J. League YBC Levain Cup, Prime Stage matches.

The 2022 season will see VAR used for 321 matches – including 306 Meji Yasuda J1 League matches, one Super Cup match, 13 J. League YBC Levain Cup, Prime Stage matches and one J1 Promotion Playoff Final.

“The development of J.League is a crucial factor for Japanese football to reach new heights, and the J.League is currently setting their goal to reach the heights of Europe’s top five leagues by 2030,” Chairman Ogawa Yoshimi of the Japanese Football Association Referees Committee said in February 2020.

“With VAR (video assistant referee) already being implemented in many leagues in Europe, the J.League must follow the same footsteps in order to achieve their goal. Therefore, JFA will work together with J.League to proceed with the implementation of VAR to help raise the level of Japanese football.”

J.League said that is still yet to be determined if the 2022 Super Cup match (which is played between the reigning Emperor’s Cup winners and J1 League Champions) and the J1 Promotion Playoff Final will be played.

The number of matches in the 2022 Meji Yasuda J1 League season is also dependent on the league staying at its current number of 18 clubs.

Relegation has been suspended for 2020 season due to the pandemic. The top two J2 League clubs for the 2020 season will be automatically promoted into the Meji Yasuda J1 League, increasing the number of teams in the competition to 20.

Four clubs will then be relegated from J1 to J2 after the 2021 season. Two clubs will also be promoted which is set to restore the number of clubs in the J.League to 18.

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

Optus Sport to stream Football Victoria’s Nike F.C. Cup Final

Nike F.C. Cup

Football Victoria have made the exciting announcement that Optus Sport will yet again stream the Nike F.C. Cup Final in 2022.

Optus Sport have been the home of the English Premier League in Australia since 2016, and are also home to LaLiga, the Women’s Super League, K-League, J-League and the EURO’s.

The Cup Final will be held on Sunday afternoon, when South Melbourne takes on Calder United at Valley Park Events Centre, Broadmeadows.

Football Victoria CEO Kimon Taliadoros applauded Optus Sport’s commitment and acknowledged their continued support of the local game in a statement released by Football Victoria.

“The appetite for women’s football is growing exponentially and we thank Optus Sport for their elevation of the Nike F.C. Cup again in 2022,” he said in a statement.

“We are thrilled that subscribers across the nation can experience the quality football that the two teams will deliver on Sunday.”

Match coverage starts at 3.30pm AEDT, with the final kicking off at 4pm this Sunday.

Coverage will also be provided for non-subscribers on NPL.TV and Football Victoria’s Facebook and YouTube.

Customers can watch Optus Sport on their favourite screens and devices via Fetch, Apple TV, Android TV compatible Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Apple Airplay, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, compatible Samsung Smart TVs or desktop, or on-the-go via tablet, mobile, or laptop.

FC Bayern and Adobe partner to power the club’s digital transformation

Bayern and Adobe

FC Bayern, one of the world’s most historic and successful football clubs, have announced a multi-year partnership with Adobe to power the club’s digital transformation.

The agreement will bring new, personalised experiences to its millions of current and future global fans – both on and offline – while driving greater efficiency and more sustainable business practices through Adobe’s enterprise solutions.

With a rapidly growing global fanbase, FC Bayern is passionate about connecting fans to their favourite club in new ways. Adobe’s technology will provide FC Bayern the ability to better understand its fans to create more engaging and individualised sports experiences.

Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe’s customer data platform, will help FC Bayern create fan profiles to better understand how supporters engage with the brand and ensure they enjoy a more personal relationship with their favourite teams. This means the overall matchday experience will be enhanced for fans, giving supporters real-time notifications at their fingertips including merchandising discounts, video content and last-minute ticket availability.

With more digital experiences across platforms, channels and devices, FC Bayern fans will never miss a moment whether they are at the Arena, on the go or in the comfort of their home. For example, when a goal is scored fans will receive content on their preferred channel to celebrate the moment in real time, as well as post-match video commentary and highlights.

FC Bayern will also use Adobe Document Cloud, including Adobe Acrobat Sign, to digitise collaboration with fans, employees and partners. With Document Cloud, activities like signing up for memberships or executing player agreements will be quick and secure, while reducing environmental impact.

“Today’s FC Bayern fan is digitally savvy and craves new ways to get closer to our club and players, which is why we aim to create sustainable and lasting interactions that bring matchday excitement to our millions of passionate fans across the world,” FC Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn in a statement.

“We’re investing in a long-term digital strategy with Adobe’s breadth of enterprise applications at the core of our technology, to deepen how our fans engage with the club and to inspire the next generation of fans for years to come.

“FC Bayern has millions of fans around the world, and they are at the forefront of revolutionising fan experiences,” said Anil Chakravarthy, president of Digital Experience Business at Adobe. “With this partnership, FC Bayern will create more personalised experiences to enable fans to celebrate the passion and heart of the club wherever they may be.”

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