Japan Professional Football League (J-League) chairman Mitsuru Murai today (Friday) announced that they have now given up on the provisional resumption dates announced last week after holding their fifth extraordinary executive committee online meeting with the clubs.

Murai also admitted that they are now “forced to go back to the drawing board” amid huge concerns that the COVID-19 infection is being widespread across the metropolitan areas especially in the capital Tokyo, according to the football news website GekiSaka.

At the announcement last week, Murai said the governing body was hoping the third-tier J3 League will resume on April 25 while the second division (J2) would resume from May 2 if everything goes according to the plan. The top flight J League Division 1 (J1) was scheduled to resume from May 9.

The league held a COVID-19 countermeasures liaison conference meeting, which they formed with the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) on March 3 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, today and the expert advisory team recommended to the conference that the governing bodies should ensure that no official match takes place until the end of May at the earliest.

Murai said: “We will have at least a month from now to re-think and discuss about the new resumption dates with our clubs. The dates may not be three-phased like the ones announced last week.”

J-League originally had April 14 as their next extraordinary executive committee meeting date but instead decided to hold it straight after receiving the expert team’s recommendations as the governing body felt it was necessary to relay the serious nature of the advice to the clubs as soon as possible, and the clubs duly agreed to the re-postponement.

Article provided by The Stadium Hub