The J.League has announced details for the 2016 J.League International Youth Cup, to be held next month in Nagano Prefecture.
Supported by the J.League and Japan Football Association, the aim of the tournament is to contrib-ute to Japanese football’s development by giving youth players a chance to test themselves in a competitive setting against international competition.
In its second year, the competition will expand to eight teams who will face off in round-robin play before a final set of matches determines the overall winners.
[2016 J.League International Youth Cup Outline]
Competition Name: 2016 J.League International Youth Cup
Organizers: Japan Football Association, Japan Pro Football League (J.League)
Cooperating Organizations: Nagano Football Association, AC Nagano Parceiro
Support: Nagano Prefecture, Nagano Prefecture Board of Education, Nagano City, Nagano City Board of Education
Dates: December 21 (Wednesday), 22 (Thursday), 24 (Saturday), 25 (Sunday)
Venues: Minami Nagano Sports Park Stadium, Nagano Athletic Stadium
FC Tokyu U-18 (2016 J.Youth Cup Champions)
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Youth (2016 J.Youth Cup Runners-Up)
Matsumoto Yamaga U-18 (2016 J.Youth Cup Third Place)
Kyoto Sanga U-18 (2016 J.Youth Cup Third Place)
Busan IPark (2016 K-League U-18 Champions)
Perth Glory (Australia)
The eight participating teams will be divided into two groups of four for single-match round robin play.
Following the group stage, the first, second, third, and fourth place teams will pair off to determine the final overall standings.
Group Stage: 80 minute matches (40 minute halves), no extra time or penalty kicks
Final Round: 80 minute matches (40 minute halves), winner to be determined by penalty kicks in the event of an 80-minute draw
To be announced in early December.
Introduction of Participating Overseas Clubs
Busan IPark (South Korea)
Active since the 1983 founding of the K-League, Busan IPark currently participate in the country’s second division and are perhaps best known for former midfielder Kim Joo-sung, the only player to have his number retired by the league. The club boasts many technically gifted players and have a reputation for pass-heavy attacking football.
Perth Glory (Australia)
Founded in 1996, the Australian side were twice national champions before the 2005 alunch of the A-League and in 2012 signed current V-Varen Nagasaki striker Ryo Nagai. In recent years they have made proactive investments in their academy system, and their participation in this tournament was endorsed by the A-League as part of their strategic alliance with the J.League.
The Buenos Aires-based giants were runners-up in the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup. That squad’s captain, Juan Sebastian Veron, now serves as the club’s chairman. Estudiantes have raised many Argentina internationals and are well-known for their youth system.
Based in the Santa Catarina city of Florianopolis, the Serie A participants have a reputation for de-veloping many players who have progressed to the senior team as well as the country’s famed na-tional team. They will be expected to bring spectacular football to Japan on the strength of their players’ individual talents.