Japanese Non-league Football News

Shikoku League
This weekend is Emperor's Cup first round day in Japan, which means that there is very limited Regional League action and indeed there are no JFL fixtures. However, the Shikoku League has seen one crucial rearranged match take place, with title challengers Nangoku Kochi in action against Sanyo Electric Tokushima. And star striker Yohei Ueta chipped in with a hat-trick in a 4-0 win that closes the gap on leaders Kamatamare Sanuki to two points. It now seems more certain than ever that the destination of the title will be decided by the clash between Nangoku and Kamatamare at the end of October.

Sun 17 Sep: Sanyo Electric Tokushima 0-4 Nangoku Kochi

1 Kamatamare Sanuki 30 (+30)
2 Nangoku Kochi 28 (+39)
3 Ehime Shimanami 26 (+25)
4 Sanyo Electric Tokushima 20 (+4)
5 Tokushima Vortis Amateur 12 (-5)
6 Ventana AC 10 (-27)
7 Alex SC 8 (-25)
8 Sanwa Club 1 (-41)

Changes To Regional League - JFL Promotion
There's been a key modification in the process of promotion from the Regional Leagues to the JFL for the end of the current season. The top team in the end-of-year Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off competition will be automatically promoted, while the second-place club will enter a play-off with the bottom team in the JFL itself - likely to be Honda Lock. However, that second-place team will also be automatically promoted if Rosso Kumamoto succeed in gaining a place in the J-League.
Sagawa United!
JFL corporate high-flyers Sagawa Kyubin Osaka and Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo have announced their intention to merge into a single team for the 2007 season. There is no indication yet as to whether the new team will explicitly aim for J-League membership, but given that both clubs are performing well this year, it's fairly safe to assume that a combined outfit will be at the very least a genuine competitive force within the third tier of Japanese club football.

The new club, excitingly to be named Sagawa Kyubin SC, will be based in Moriyama City in Shiga prefecture, where the company has a stadium facility. Firm decisions about the coaching and playing staff will not be made until the current JFL campaign winds up at the beginning of December.
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