Defending champions Yokohama F Marinos will face the Urawa Reds at Saitama Stadium when the J1 League resumes after approoximately four-month break on July 4, as per a new match schedule released Monday.
J-league announced revised schedules for the three divisions. The clubs will be playing against opponents from the same region in July to avoid travel to minimize risk of Coronavirus infection.
All matches are planned to take place behind closed doors, with the league planning to gradually readmit spectators to stadiums afterwards.
Veteran former striker from Japan National team, Yoshito Okubo will lead new side Tokyo Verdy against Machida Zelvia when the J2 resumes on June 27. The J3 will open the same day, with FC Imabari will be kicking off their season against FC Gifu.
The coronavirus pandemic prompted the J.League to suspend play in late February, immediately after the teams completed one match each. J1 and J2 league have been started and the third division had been scheduled to begin on March 7.
Gamba Osaka and Cerezo Osaka will restart their J1 campaigns head to head in the Osaka Derby, while the following round will feature the Tamagawa Classico between Kawasaki Frontale and last season’s runners-up, FC Tokyo, on July 8.
Marinos will face local rivals Yokohama FC on July 22, when the Yokohama Derby returns to J1 for the first time in 13 seasons.
Spanish great Andres Iniesta, who helped Vissel Kobe win their first-ever Emperor’s Cup on New Year’s Day, will lead the glamor club against Kansai region opponents, Cerezo, on July 22 and Gamba on July 26.
The first division will play through international windows sanctioned by soccer’s global governing body FIFA to complete its heavily condensed season by Dec 19.
The Levain Cup will return under a modified format, with fewer games, on Aug 5. The final of the tournament is scheduled for Nov 7.