J League Returns

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There has been much talk about the return of the J League in Japan and while this has been put off on numerous occasions it looks like we might finally have a date for the restart. It was seen as this week sides began returning to training. 

Back to training 

A rubber-stamped date for the leagues restart is expected at the end of the week but the news coming from Japan looks to be positive as a return to football action seems like it has the green light. The news follows the end of the lifting of the nationwide state of emergency in the country from last week.

Currently, players are training in small groups with great care being taking for no contamination. While at present not all sides have returned it is expected by the end of the week we will have all J Leagues sides training with a new revised fixtures list in place.

The return to training will not be as it was though as at Vissel Kobe, for example, players are to wait in their cars till training begins and have been required to wash training-wear at home.

It is clear too that managers are excited to return as the FC Tokyo boss Kenta Hasegawa said: "It was great to see the players' faces after such a long time". Meanwhile, the Vissel Kobe boss Thorsten Fink echoed these words as he said: "First of all, I'm glad to see everyone."


Five subs, please 

It is unclear currently if the J League will take the same route as other leagues and allow five substitutes to help reduce the risk of injury after a long lay off for many players.

The news was announced in the Japan Times as they had a source reportedly quoted as saying "Matches will be more exciting if the number of substitutions is increased. It's highly likely this will happen".

The league is also considering reducing the Levain Cup's first-round from six to three matches and eliminating the home-and-away format for the quarter-finals and semi-finals. While it is expected matches will be played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future. 

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