L. League

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L. League
Country Japan
Confederation AFC
Founded 1989; 25 years ago (1989)
Divisions 2
Number of teams 10 L1
16 L2
Levels on pyramid 1-2
Relegation to Japanese Regional Leagues
Domestic cup(s) Empress's Cup
League Cup
International cup(s) none
Current champions INAC Kobe Leonessa
(2013)
Website http://www.nadeshikoleague.jp/
2014

The L. League (in Japanese: "L・リーグ", Officially "日本女子サッカーリーグ",Nihon Joshi Sakkā Rīgu) is the top flight of women's association football in Japan. It is the women's equivalent of the J. League, but not professional. However, some individual players are professional.

The league consists of two divisions: division 1 has the nickname Nadeshiko League (なでしこリーグ Nadeshiko Rīgu?) and division 2 Challenge League (チャレンジリーグ Charenji Rīgu?). Since 2008 it has been sponsored by Plenus (株式会社プレナス?), a fastfood company based in Fukuoka, and are thus billed as Plenus Nadeshiko League and Plenus Challenge League.[1]

History[edit]

L-League began in 1989. From 1993 to 1999 it adopted an Apertura and Clausura system, similar to the J. League system of the era. From 2000 to 2003 the clubs were divided into East and West groups and then the top clubs of each would go into a championship group, with the bottom clubs in a relegation group. In 2004 the single-table format was brought back.

Players from the 8 L-League teams would host an annual training camp to build skills and relationships between L-League and international women's football clubs, including US and Australian teams.

Since the 2004 season, the L. League has 2 divisions - Division 1, with 8 clubs, and Division 2 with 8 clubs in the 2006 season. Until 2009 the league operated on the same way as the old Japan Soccer League for men, the bottom club in the second division playing off against a regional league playoff winner.

Starting off with the 2010 season, the second division is divided into an east and west group of six teams each. The winners of each group are promoted.

After Japan's World Cup win the L-League saw an upsurge in popularity.[2][3][4][5][6]

League structure[edit]

The L-League consists of two levels. (from 2013)

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

1

Div.1 (Nadeshiko League)
10 clubs

2

Div.2 (Challenge League)
16 clubs

Champions[edit]

First Division Champions[edit]

Bold indicate doubles with the Empress's Cup.[7]

Total titles won by club
Club Champions Year
NTV Beleza
12
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
Nikko Securities Dream Ladies
3
1996, 1997, 1998
INAC Kobe Leonessa
3
2011, 2012, 2013
Iga F.C. Kunoichi
2
1995, 1999
Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies
2
2004, 2009
Shimizu F.C. Ladies
1
1989
Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki
1
1994
Tasaki Perule F.C.
1
2003
  • Yomiuri Beleza was renamed to NTV Beleza in 1999 and to Tokyo Verdy Beleza in 2011, when the Yomiuri Group sold its stake.
  • Saitama Reinas were absorbed by Urawa Red Diamonds in 2005.
  • Matsushita L.S.C. Bambina was renamed to Speranza F.C. Takatsuki in 2000. Then, renamed to Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki in 2012.
  • Prima Ham F.C. Kunoichi was renamed to Iga F.C. Kunoichi in 2000.
  • Nikko Securities Dream Ladies and Tasaki Perule no longer exist.
Total titles won by region
Region Total Clubs
Kantō 17 NTV Beleza (12), Nikko Securities Dream Ladies (3), Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies (2)
Kansai 5 INAC Kobe Leonessa (3), Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki (1), Tasaki Perule F.C. (1)
Tōkai 3 Iga Football Club Kunoichi (2), Suzuyo Shimizu F.C. Lovely Ladies (1)

Second Division Champions[edit]

Year Club
2004 Okayama Yunogo Belle
2005 INAC Kobe Leonessa
2006 Albirex Niigata Ladies
2007 TEPCO Mareeze
2008 JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies
2009 AS Elfen Sayama F.C.
Year East West
2010 Tokiwagi Gakuen H.S Speranza Takatsuki
2011 Tokiwagi Gakuen H.S Kibi International University
Year Club
2012 Vegalta Sendai Ladies
2013 Tokiwagi Gakuen H.S

L. League Clubs (2014)[edit]

The L-League consists of two levels.

Nadeshiko League (Division 1)[edit]

Club Hometown(s) First Season in
Top Flight
Current Spell in
Top Flight
Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies Saitama, Saitama 1999 1999-
JEF United Chiba Ladies Chiba, Chiba 2000 2000-
NTV Beleza Inagi, Tokyo 1989 1989-
Albirex Niigata Ladies Niigata Prefecture 2004 2004-
Iga Football Club Kunoichi Iga, Mie 1989 2010-
AS Elfen Sayama F.C. Sayama, Saitama 2002 2014-
INAC Kobe Leonessa Kobe, Hyogo 2005 2005-
Okayama Yunogo Belle Mimasaka, Okayama 2003 2005-
Vegalta Sendai Ladies Sendai, Miyagi 2013 2013-
F.C. Kibi International University Charme Takahashi, Okayama 2013 2013-

Challenge League (Division 2)[edit]

Clubs Hometown(s)
Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki Takatsuki, Osaka
Fukuoka J. Anclas Kasuga, Fukuoka
Tokiwagi Gakuen High School Sendai, Miyagi
JFA Academy Fukushima Gotenba, Shizuoka[9]
Sfida Setagaya F.C. Setagaya, Tokyo
Nippon Sport Science University L.S.C. Yokohama
Japan Soccer College Ladies Seirō, Niigata
A.C. Nagano Parceiro Ladies Nagano, Nagano
Shizuoka Sangyo University Iwata Bonita Iwata, Shizuoka
Bunnys Kyoto S.C. Kyoto, Kyoto
Ehime F.C. Ladies Matsuyama, Ehime
AS Harima ALBION Himeji
Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Shimizudaihachi Pleiades Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka
Cerezo Osaka Sakai Ladies Osaka
Angeviolet Hiroshima Hiroshima

Previous clubs[edit]

Relegated to regional leagues[edit]

Dissolved[edit]

Award[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Plenus Co. Ltd. Supports Nadeshiko League". Plenus Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  2. ^ "Nadeshiko League attendance on rise | The Japan Times Online". Japantimes.co.jp. 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  3. ^ "Toyota to sponsor Nadeshiko League soccer " Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion". Japantoday.com. 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  4. ^ "Sky Perfect TV to Show Japan Women's Soccer League Live Following World Cup Win". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  5. ^ "Women's football is booming in Japan as the game tries to capitalise on Nadeshiko's World Cup and Olympic success". Goal.com. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  6. ^ "Nadeshiko League attendance on rise". The Japan Times. 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  7. ^ "Japan - List of Women Champions". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Goals galore on three continents". FIFA. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  9. ^ It has transferred more temporarily than Naraha for an 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

External links[edit]