A New Year's message from Chairman Mitsuru Murai

A New Year's message from Chairman Mitsuru Murai

On behalf of the entire J.LEAGUE, I wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

Last year, with various parts of Japan affected by the declaration of a state of emergency since the beginning of the year, it remained challenging to hold sporting events, making it necessary for sports organizations to adapt and navigate our way through the ever-changing situation.

Despite the difficulties, we succeeded in holding 1,122 official matches, of which spectators attended 98%. This was achieved through the cooperation of the expert epidemiology and scientific research teams, the players who undertook strict infection countermeasures at all times while maintaining their best physical condition, the club personnel who put every effort into match operations and supporting the players, and the more than 5 million spectators who continued to watch the matches at stadiums while complying with guidelines. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone.

In the 2022 season, it will be possible for us to welcome spectators up to the total capacity of the venues. To ensure that everyone can enjoy watching the games safely and with peace of mind in full stadiums, we will continue to move forward while cooperating with the local government and experts to assess risks, such as new variants.

I hope that the new year will be a wonderful one for the 58 clubs from 40 prefectures (with the recent addition of Iwaki FC), all the club personnel, and all football lovers.
I look forward to your continued understanding and support toward J.LEAGUE’s activities this year.

Mitsuru Murai
Japan Professional Football League