J. League sets early January date for postponed Levain Cup final
Japan Times -- Nov 13
The J. League on Thursday announced that the Levain Cup final will take place on Jan. 4, 2021 at Tokyo’s National Stadium, nearly two months after the game’s original date.

The showdown between Kashiwa Reysol and FC Tokyo, originally scheduled for Nov. 7, was postponed after Reysol suffered a coronavirus cluster infection among its players and staff beginning Nov. 2. That outbreak forced the league to postpone two first-division games which will be made up in early December.

While officials considered holding the final between the J1’s Dec. 19 finale and the Emperor’s Cup semifinals on Dec. 27, the early 2021 date was chosen due to Tokyo’s Asian Champions League commitments, which will see the team travel to Doha on Nov. 19 and possibly stay through the continental competition’s Dec. 19 final.

Tokyo, which is currently in third place in the J1 with four games remaining, can still theoretically finish the season in second place and qualify for the Emperor’s Cup semifinals alongside presumptive league champion Kawasaki Frontale.

“Because of the potential (for Tokyo to reach the ACL final), it was difficult to schedule the Levain Cup for FC Tokyo between Dec. 19 and 27,” league chairman Mitsuru Murai said. “Right now players returning from overseas will have to isolate. We’ve been in negotiations but it’s not a simple thing and we determined that putting a match in that period would be risky.

“There’s still the possibility that Tokyo won’t reach the final and they could return to Japan earlier. In that case it might have been possible to schedule the match for (later in December), but in order to make it easier for fans who have purchased tickets we can’t create a situation where there are multiple reschedulings.”

Further complicating matters are current regulations intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within Japan, which would see Tokyo players and staff returning from Qatar forced to isolate for two weeks. Should Kenta Hasegawa’s men reach the ACL final, that would leave them unable to train as a team until as late Jan. 3 — the day before the Levain final.

News source: Japan Times
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