J-League Chairman Mitsuru Murai said Wednesday that first-division games may be held on days when the national team plays and the league cup competition could be abbreviated this year in response to the schedule crunch forced on the league by the new coronavirus pandemic.
All J-League games have been suspended since the end of February, and there is no current timetable for the restart of the top two divisions, the J1 and J2, or the opening of the third-division J3 season. The league is now looking into plans for resuming play either in June, July or August.
"As it stands now, I don't know if it will be June or July, but we are preparing in the belief that play will resume," Murai told a press conference following an extraordinary session of the league's board of directors.
Should play resume by the end of May, it could still be possible to play the season's full schedule, but if games are not played before June, then it will be necessary to change the format of the YBC Levain Cup competition, perhaps by reducing the tournament's first round.
The league has already decided that the top two teams from both the J2 and J3 will be automatically promoted for next season, but that the J2 promotion tournament will not be held.
The season will be considered complete if 75 percent of all league games are played and each team plays at least half its games. If those standards are not met, no teams will be promoted, no order of finish will be announced and no prize money awarded.