Japan Football League
Season2020
DatesJuly 18 - November 28
ChampionsVerspah Oita
PromotedTegevajaro Miyazaki
Relegatednone (for season 2020 only)
Matches played120
Goals scored330 (2.75 per match)
Top goalscorer
Highest attendance
Lowest attendance23 games played with
zero attendance due to Covid-19
Average attendance442
2019
2021

The 2020 Japan Football League (Japanese: 第22回日本フットボールリーグ[第22回 JFL 2020], Hepburn: Dai Nijūnikai Nihon Futtobōru Rīgu [Dai Nijūnikai JFL 2020]) was the eight season of the fourth tier in Japanese football, and the 22nd season since the establishment of Japan Football League.

Postponement of the beginning of the season

On February 27, the opening game and match day 2 were postponed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

On March 16, it was announced match day 3 would be postponed.[2] On March 25, it was announced Match day 4, Match day 5 would be postponed.[3]

On April 7, it was announced Match day 6 would also be postponed.[4]

On April 15 it was finally decided that only the second half of the season would be played beginning on the scheduled date, July 18. No relegations happened and the winners and runners-up of the Japanese Regional Series were automatically promoted, meaning that the 2021 season would be held with 17 clubs.[5]

On June 24, the JFL announced new dates. The league match for this season started on July 18. Match days 16 and 17, and each home game opening game were held as a without spectator match.[6]

Clubs

Sixteen clubs featured in this season of Japan Football League. There were some changes: FC Imabari got promoted to J3, after finishing third in 2019, while Ryutsu Keizai Dragons was relegated after playing for five seasons at this level.[7][8] Matsue City FC, who finished second-last place, were fated to go back to Japanese Regional Leagues as well, but avoided the drop thanks to FC Imabari going up to J3 League.

There are two new clubs in the JFL, debuting at this level after finishing in the top two in the 2019 Japanese Regional Series: Iwaki FC dominated the final stage, while Kochi United SC overcame the other two teams – Ococias Kyoto AC and Fukui United FC – to get the final spot for this seasons JFL.[9][10]

Club Name Home Town Position Notes
Honda FC Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 1st 2019 Champions
Honda Lock Miyazaki, Miyazaki 6th
Iwaki FC Iwaki, Fukushima
RPS 1st
Winners of TSL and 43rd RPS, 100 Year Plan-status and J3 license holders
Kochi United SC Kōchi, Kōchi
RPS 2nd
Winners of SSL and runners-up of 43rd RPS
Maruyasu Okazaki Okazaki, Aichi 11th
Matsue City FC Matsue, Shimane 15th
MIO Biwako Shiga Kusatsu, Shiga 9th Applied for 100 Year Plan-status
Nara Club All cities/towns in Nara[a] 14th 100 Year Plan-status and J3 license holders
FC Osaka Higashiōsaka, Osaka 8th 100 Year Plan-status and J3 license holders
ReinMeer Aomori Aomori, Aomori 13th 100 Year Plan-status and J3 license holders
Sony Sendai Tagajō, Miyagi 2nd
Suzuka Point Getters Suzuka, Mie 12th Applied for 100 Year Plan-status
Tegevajaro Miyazaki Miyazaki & Shintomi, Miyazaki 5th 100 Year Plan-status and J3 license holders
Tokyo Musashino City Musashino, Tokyo 4th No more 100 Year Plan-status, withdrew J3 license
Veertien Mie All cities/towns in Mie[b] 10th 100 Year Plan-status and J3 license holders
Verspah Oita Yufu & Ōita, Ōita 7th

Personnel and kits

Club Manager Captain Kit manufacturer
Honda FC Japan Hiroyasu Ibata Japan Yuya Suzuki England Umbro
Honda Lock SC Japan Shinya Shirakawa Japan Naoya Oyama Italy Kappa
Iwaki FC Japan Yuzo Tamura Japan Masaru Hidaka United States Under Armour
Kochi United SC Japan Akihiro Nishimura Japan Tsubasa Yokotake Japan bonera
Maruyasu Okazaki Japan Ryuji Kitamura Japan Teruyuki Moniwa Brazil ATHLETA
Matsue City FC Japan Noriaki Sanenobu Japan Yuzuru Tabira Japan GAViC
MIO Biwako Shiga Japan Hiroshi Otsuki Japan Ryo Nishiguchi Japan JOGARBOLA
Nara Club Japan Maiki Hayashi Japan Shinichi Mukai Japan SQUADRA
FC Osaka Japan Shinya Tsukahara Japan Tomoyuki Iwamoto Japan bonera
ReinMeer Aomori Japan Tatsuya Mochizuki Japan Kanta Takahashi England Umbro
Sony Sendai FC Japan Gen Nakamura Japan Kenta Ogihara England Umbro
Suzuka Point Getters Spain Milagros Martínez Domínguez Japan Kohei Fujita Brazil ATHLETA
Tegevajaro Miyazaki Japan Keiji Kuraishi Japan Kenta Ishii Brazil Penalty
Tokyo Musashino City Japan Hisayuki Ikegami Japan Koji Ishihara Japan Yonex
Veertien Mie Japan Nobuhiro Ueno Japan Hitoshi Nishimura Germany Puma
Verspah Oita Japan Shigemitsu Sudo Japan Kosei Uryu Japan YASUDA
  1. ^ centering on Nara
  2. ^ centering on Kuwana & Yokkaichi

League table

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion
1 Verspah Oita 15 10 2 3 27 16 +11 32
2 Tegevajaro Miyazaki (P) 15 8 4 3 26 15 +11 28 Promotion to 2021 J3 League[a]
3 Sony Sendai 15 8 2 5 25 22 +3 26
4 Honda FC 15 5 7 3 20 12 +8 22
5 Suzuka Point Getters 15 6 3 6 23 19 +4 21
6 Veertien Mie 15 6 3 6 17 16 +1 21
7 Iwaki FC 15 6 3 6 24 24 0 21
8 FC Osaka 15 6 2 7 24 24 0 20
9 MIO Biwako Shiga 15 6 2 7 23 27 −4 20
10 Matsue City FC 15 6 2 7 18 24 −6 20
11 Tokyo Musashino City 15 5 4 6 15 17 −2 19
12 Honda Lock 15 5 4 6 19 25 −6 19
13 Nara Club 15 5 3 7 21 21 0 18
14 Kochi United SC 15 4 4 7 17 20 −3 16
15 ReinMeer Aomori 15 4 4 7 17 26 −9 16
16 Maruyasu Okazaki 15 4 3 8 14 22 −8 15
Source: JFL website (in Japanese)
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Head-to-head results; 4) Goals scored; 5) Disciplinary points; 6) Number of wins; 7) Lottery [11]
(P) Promoted
Notes:
  1. ^ To qualify for promotion, a club must hold a 100 Year Plan status, obtain J3 license (marked in bold in the table), and finish both in the top 4 of the JFL, and either 1st or 2nd among the promotion-eligible clubs.

Top scorers

As of matches played November 29, 2020.[12]
Rank Player Club Goals
1
Japan Tatsuma Sakai Matsue City FC
9
Japan Kazuki Sakamoto MIO Biwako Shiga
3
Japan Motoki Fujiwara Sony Sendai FC
7
Japan Jin Shioya Veertien Mie
5
Japan Shoma Mizunaga Tegevajaro Miyazaki
6
Japan Kaima Akahoshi Kochi United SC
7
8 players
5

Promotion and relegation

Despite the JFL announcing that there would be no promotion or relegation of clubs, the J. League agreed to admit Tegevajaro Miyazaki to the J3 League on November 24, 2020, after Miyazaki finished in the top four positions. Miyazaki ultimately finished runners-up.

FC Tiamo Hirakata and FC Kariya were promoted from the Regional Leagues as Regional Promotion Series champions and runners-up respectively. Kariya returned to the JFL after being relegated back in 2009.

Attendances

Pos Team Total High Low Average Change
1 FC Osaka      2,846 993 0 712 −35.2%
2 Honda FC       2,054 941 0 411 −49.8%
3 Honda Lock   800 272 0 200 −42.0%
4 Iwaki FC       9,005 1,828 0 1,286 n/a
5 Kochi United SC 4,741 1,151 0 677 n/a
6 Maruyasu Okazaki 716 170 0 143 −63.0%
7 Matsue City FC 3,934 971 0 656 −6.2%
8 MIO Biwako Shiga 2,479 832 0 413 −19.3%
9 Nara Club 3,685 959 0 614 −69.6%
10 ReinMeer Aomori 2,429 726 0 405 −21.1%
11 Sony Sendai FC 1,249 303 0 178 −62.0%
12 Suzuka Point Getters 1,965 413 0 281 −49.2%
13 Tegevajaro Miyazaki 4,698 2,203 0 671 +66.5%
14 Tokyo Musashino City 3,658 907 0 610 −65.9%
15 Veertien Mie 6,476 1,741 0 925 −11.1%
16 Verspah Oita 1,531 509 0 306 −47.4%
League total 52,266 2,203 0 436 −53.6%

Updated to games played on 29/11/2020
Source: JFL

23 games played with no spectators due to COVID-19 worldwide pandemic

See also

References

  1. ^ "新型コロナウイルスの影響による、開幕戦延期のお知らせ" (Press release) (in Japanese). 日本フットボールリーグ. February 27, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  2. ^ "新型コロナウイルスの影響による、第3節延期のお知らせ" (Press release) (in Japanese). 日本フットボールリーグ. March 16, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  3. ^ "新型コロナウイルスの影響による、第4節、第5節の開催可否について" (Press release) (in Japanese). 日本フットボールリーグ. March 16, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  4. ^ "新型コロナウイルスの影響による、第6節の開催可否について" (Press release) (in Japanese). 日本フットボールリーグ. April 7, 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  5. ^ "第22回日本フットボールリーグ日程及び大会方式の変更のお知らせ" (Press release) (in Japanese). 日本フットボールリーグ. April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  6. ^ "【JFLオフィシャルサイト】第22回JFL試合日程【リモートマッチ(無観客試合)】対象試合)" (Press release) (in Japanese). 日本フットボールリーグ. June 24, 2020. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "FC今治、来季J3昇格が正式決定! 理事会で承認、四国4つめのJクラブに". Football Channel (in Japanese). November 18, 2019.
  8. ^ "【レビュー転載】天皇杯茨城県予選準決勝 つくばFC×流通経済大学ドラゴンズ龍ケ崎(2019/04/21)". Note (in Japanese). November 11, 2019.
  9. ^ "【いわきFC・JFLへの軌跡】実力Jリーグレベル!16チーム". Minyu-Net (in Japanese). November 27, 2019.
  10. ^ "お知らせ「第22回日本フットボールリーグ新入会チームについて」" (in Japanese). JFL. December 5, 2019.
  11. ^ "第22回開催に伴う事項について" (Press release) (in Japanese). 日本フットボールリーグ. June 24, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  12. ^ "日本フットボールリーグオフィシャルWebサイト【得点R】".