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.

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

Football Queensland and Roar Football in the Community program to capitalise on growth

Football Queensland (FQ) have announced a partnership with A-League staple Brisbane Roar as the member federation continues to build towards their 2026 strategic growth plan.

The two organisations have combined to launch a community incentive, titled ‘Football Queensland and Roar Football in the Community’.

As a result of the collaboration, it is an Australian first – as no club across the country has experienced a feat  which is being exhibited in Queensland between the Roar and governing body.

This gound-breaking alliance has effectively reinforced the established relationship between the state and one of the country’s most renowned football clubs, drawing emphasis upon the strategy of building upon the ongoing development and support of football within Queensland.

Football Queensland and Roar Football in the Community will deliver a vast variety of grassroots football clinics, sessions, events and community engagement programs to young aspiring boy and girl participants.

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his assertiveness in FQ hitting the 2026 strategy plan, with the newly found partnership a step in the right direction.

“Combining our strong ties to the grassroots football community with Brisbane Roar’s connection to football fans across the state ensures we can implement best practice delivery methods to unite the game in Queensland,” he said via media release.

Brisbane Roar FC Chairman & CEO Kaz Patafta discussed his admiration towards the expansion of the Club’s reach in the new state wide opportunity.

“We’re delighted to expand Brisbane Roar FC’s reach throughout the Queensland football community as we continue working collaboratively with Football Queensland to pave the way for innovative and strategic opportunities for the game,” he added via press release.

This community program intends on introducing young boys and girls to the sport of football, in attempts to increase participation numbers.

It is a strict objective in which FQ are adamant in achieving, all in accordance to their 2024-2026 Development Strategy.

Additionally, the programs created are crafted for children across the state of Queensland, with a database featured on the community program website, allowing parents to navigate the closest programs within their respective area of the state.

Schools are also invited to become involved – find out more about Football in the Community here: https://footballqueensland.com.au/football-in-the-community/

Volunteers valued throughout nationwide week in their honour

Volunteers are the backbone of sports clubs across the nation, within the lifespan of a successful club, volunteers throughout generations are selflessly involved.

National Volunteer Week 2024 is an incentive created by Volunteering Australia (VA) who have continued the promotion of volunteers since their inception in 1991.

Founded under the National Secretariat Program, VA are the peak organisation for volunteers across the country.

National Volunteer week has officially began, with its conclusion occurring on Sunday.

Coaches, administrators, referees and team managers all fall under the plethora of volunteers in whom without it the day to day living organism of a club would cease to exist.

Selfless within the endeavours undertaken, volunteers dedicate time and effort at the betterment of a sports club.

Playing a pivotal role in various aspects of a sports club operations. They are the unsung heroes in building chemistry amongst players, club participants and officials.

Unifying a broader community under the umbrella of a sporting entity.

Football across the nation have showcased their appreciation towards volunteers.

Football NSW have swiftly acknowledged the continuous contributions made by volunteers throughout the state by disclosing their participation within the week.

As stated on their website, Football NSW CEO John Tsatsimas touched upon the importance in which volunteers possess.

“Every week we see thousands of dedicated volunteers, committed administrators, and mums and dads giving their time to ensure our players of all ages can enjoy the beautiful game.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our game – the grassroots appeal of our game would not be what it is without their passion for the sport and undying commitment to their local club and community.”

Football NSW are honouring the volunteers within the state through Football NSW Champion Volunteer Pieces, all to be presented across social media platforms and the NSW website throughout the duration of volunteer week.

Additionally, the theme for this year’s annual National Volunteer Week is “Something for Everyone”. Placing a firm emphasis upon recognition of diversity within the volunteering community.

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