Japan Football League

The Japan Football League (Japanese日本 フットボール リーグ, Nihon Futtobōru Ligurian ) is the fourth Japanese football league and subordinated to the three professional leagues in the J. League. It is the top amateur league, but can be described as semi- professional. It allows interested clubs promotion to the professional leagues in the J. League. The League ran between 1992 and 1998 as second-class Japan Football League, referred to as ex- JFL. To distinguish the new league, this is called in Japan Nihon Football League.


The Japan Football League was re-established with the launch of the J. League Division 2 as the third league. Previously, she presented the second division than the former JFL.

Nine of the original 16 teams of ex- JFL got into the J2 on as founding members. The remaining seven teams established along with the Master of the Kanto Regional League, Yokogawa Denki, the new JFL. Due to the merger of Yokohama Marinos and Yokohama wing of Yokohama FC newly formed was subsequently admitted to the JFL and extended the planned participants from eight to nine teams. It was the Denso SC, Honda FC, ​​FC Jatco, Kokushikan University FC Mito Hollyhock, Tokushima, Sony Sendai FC, ​​Yokohama FC and Yokogawa Denki

For the 2000 season the league was expanded to 12 teams in the following year to 16 in the 2002 season 18 Team played in the JFL, but fell for the coming seasons again on 16 Only for the 2006 season saw the establishment of 18 clubs. Due to financial difficulties Arte Takasaki in 2011 was forcibly removed from the league, which is why only compete in the 2012 17 teams against each other.

To JFL work teams and autonomous associations and their reserve teams can be allowed. By 2010 also List of universities and colleges in Japan by the Japan University Football Association could be proposed for accession. This was the play-off games against lower - JFL clubs allows ascend. Reserve teams may participate in the JFL, but only the A team may qualify through a membership for promotion to the J. League.

For the 2014 season major changes are made due to re- restructuring of the professional range. Ten of the participants so far are new members of the J. League; the runner-up of the 2013 season Kamatamare Sanuki thereby increases on the J2, while the remaining nine teams will be added to the newly formed J3 League. This new professional league takes the third place in the league hierarchy of the JFL, which thus falls back to the fourth stage. The remaining eight teams are supplemented by six climbers from the regional leagues, the 2014 season is thus discharged with 14 clubs. In addition, the game mode is converted to a system similar to the Apertura and Clausura in Latin American football, round-trip round are therefore classified separately. The winners of the two half- series play following the second half of the season in return game for the championship; should win, a team both halves, accounting for these games.

Season (2014)

Participants (2014)

  • The newly promoted from the regional leagues are highlighted pink
  • Registered J.League members are highlighted in green

Promotion to the J. League

In order to advance to the professional leagues clubs meet the following criteria:

  • J.League membership
  • Finished in the top two If only the winner to be a member, it can automatically ascend
  • If two members be increased automatically on the first and the second set in a Relegation against second-bottom of J2.
  • Should only be a member of the vice, he plays in the relegation against the last of the J2.
  • Pink -backed teams were promoted to the J. League Division 2.
  • Yellow -backed teams were promoted to the J3 League.

Descent from the JFL

The two bottom team can descend automatically or via a Relegation against the winner of the All Japan Regional Football Promotion League Series. Previously, clubs were able to leave the JFL in the J. League Division 2. Since the J2 has since 2012 reached the current maximum number of 22 clubs, depends the number of clubs that can be used in the relegation of the clubs have alighted from.

Participation in the Emperor's Cup

By 2008, only the winner of the first round to qualify for the third round of the Kaiser Cup. Due to the expansion of J2, the qualification places were extended to three by 2010. The other two teams have to qualify through a tournament in their home prefectures for the first round.