The Japan Football Association announced Wednesday that the country’s first women’s professional football league will be named the “WE League – Women Empowerment League” and will kick off in fall 2021.
The league will have six to 10 professional teams.
It is not known what impact the new league will have on the National Women’s Soccer League, on whether it will offer players, particularly international performers, higher salaries to compete in that league.
“Each individual to live in a world full of dreams and diversity to enhance and brighten the society through women’s football and sports” is the philosophy behind the WE league structure, according to a press release.
“The purpose of the launch of the new league is not just the development of women’s football in Japan,” JFA president Tashima Kohzo said in a statement. “Our aim is to contribute to build a sustainable society through promoting female social participation and enhancing diversities and choices. How we contribute to the society through sports is an important mission for all of us in the sports world. We will work on to establish the career of women’s professional footballer, which is the dream of many girls, and further promote women’s empowerment and solve social issues.”
The WE League will become Japan’s top tier league, ranking above the Nadeshiko League, which has been around for more than 30 years.