Japan’s first women’s professional football league is here to make history as the inaugural Yogibo WE LEAGUE kicks off on September 12th.
The WE League, standing for Women Empowerment League, will be the first fully-professional women’s football league in the country with the inaugural season running until May 2022.
There are eleven founding teams and each team will play one another home and away over a twenty-game season. To allow time for the league to stabilise, there will be no relegation system in the initial seasons.
One of the key requirements set by the committee and the Japanese FA was that at least 50 per cent of the staff of each club must be women and each club must have at least one woman in executive board.
The WE League of course has plenty of obstacles to overcome, but just like the England’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League (WSL) have shown over their four seasons running, perseverance, increased visibility, and financial backing, will brighten the future of both the domestic game and national team.
The WE League has managed to secure a highly ambitious broadcasting arrangement with J League rights holders DAZN. Interest from potential sponsors should naturally follow on and a profitable sporting property should emerge before long.
Week 1 fixtures: