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SBD Global/May 22, 2013/International Football

J. League Calls For Calendar Changes In '14 With Possible Return To Two-Stage System

The Japanese football calendar could be due for a huge shakeup in '14, "with the Emperor's Cup final being moved to December and the J. League possibly going back to the two-stage system it abandoned nine years ago," according to KYODO. The Japan FA decided on Monday to organize next season's Emperor's Cup final -- traditionally held on New Year's Day -- "on Dec. 13 to give national team players ample rest for the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia, which starts Jan. 9." The game will also be moved away from Tokyo's National Stadium. The venue, "which must have a minimum capacity of 30,000, will be decided later this year." There are calls to revert to the two-stage system "with hopes of driving up attendance and soliciting new sponsors." The idea will be on the table at a June meeting of the league's exec committee, "made up of the 40 club presidents in J1 and J2" (KYODO, 5/21).

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