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Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005

Relegation may disqualify Verdy

The J. League could replace Tokyo Verdy with another team in next season's Asian Champions League if Verdy is relegated to the second division this year, soccer sources said Tuesday.

An executive committee met the same day to discuss what action to take should Verdy fail in its bid to avoid the drop as a burdening fixture schedule in the second division would make it difficult for Verdy to participate in Asia's premier club tournament.

A proposal was put forward at the meeting to replace last season's Emperor's Cup winners Verdy with this year's runners-up in the J. League or the 2005 Nabisco Cup winners JEF United Chiba.

However, Verdy argues it would be able to cope with an overloaded fixture list and play in the Asian Champions League by rotating its squad. Teams in the 12-team second division play 44 games a season compared with 34 in the 18-team top flight.

Along with this year's J. League champions, the Emperor's Cup winners from the previous season receive an Asian berth, a system that has come under criticism in the past.

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