A crowd of 59, 626 watched the inaugural game of The J. League. This was on 15 May 1993 the game was secondary to tohe new excitement created by this most passionate of sports. with new buzzwords, like supporters, J League and many more terms coupled with supporters wearing replica shirts. It has been no surprise that in it's first season over 4 million spectators attended matches.
Last season over 7.4 million fans attended games with some top players from around the globe the cream of international coaches and referees the game in Japan is advancing at a phenomonal rate.
With each club working hard to develop youth and satellite clubs Japanese home grown players are starting to be exported to the top teams in Europe.
The improvement in The J. League has produced an equally good improvement in the quality of Japanese football. Japan reached the FIFA World CupTM for the first time in France in 1998, and advanced to the last sixteen at the 2002 tournament cohosted by South Korea and Japan.
The winner of each stage, as well as the clubs with the second- and third-highest point totals across the entire regular season (four clubs in total) will participate in a single-match knockout tournament.
The stage winner with the most points shall play the club with the third-highest regular season point total, while the stage winner with the fewest points shall play the club with the second-highest regular season point total (First round). The winning teams from these matches shall play in the semi-final of the tournament.
In the event that the regular season point leader is eligible to participate in first round, they shall directly appear in the Final.
In the event that the stage winners and second or third-place regular season clubs overlap, the stage winners will be seeded. However, if a club eligible for the Championship is subject to relegation to a lower division, they shall lose the authority to participate in the Championship.
The stage winners shall host the first round match.
The semi-final match shall be played at the ground of club who had earned higher annual points among clubs who won first round match.
MATSUMOTO YAMAGA F.C.
YOKOHAMA F MARINOS