Saudi Pro League and J.League confirm Memorandum of Understanding

The Saudi Pro League (SPL) and the J.League today unveiled a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will see the leagues collaborate on various initiatives to further the sustainable growth of football in Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The initiatives include commercial cooperation; cross-league exchanges for players, coaches, and business personnel; regular workshops and conferences to share insights and strengthen football infrastructure; and annual friendlies or tournaments in each country.

Cultural exchange events in the Kingdom and Japan will also celebrate the vast, unique and special cultures of each nation through the universal love of the beautiful game of football.

Saad Al Lazeez, Vice Chairman, Saudi Pro League, said: “The Saudi Pro League and the J.League are delighted to unveil this MOU, which is the result of much work and collaboration between our leagues on how each of us can become stronger by working together. The work already done before this announcement bodes exceptionally well for what is to come.

"Our two leagues are the strongest in Asia, and both on the field and off the field, the MOU that has been agreed will comprehensively enhance standards across both entities. There is much to gain from our collaboration and much to look forward to.”

The MOU also includes the sharing of scouting networks, aiming to display and nurture the potential of emerging football stars in both Saudi Arabia and Japan. Clear benchmarks will be set for talent discovery.

The timeline for cross-league exchanges between Saudi Arabia and Japan range from several months to multi-year engagements, with the intention of building a robust pipeline of talent and leadership within the two football communities.

The MOU comes amid a number of far-reaching, progressive changes at the SPL. Launched last year, the SPL Transformation Strategy aims to place the Roshn Saudi League among the top 10 leagues in the world.

The Player Acquisition Centre of Excellence (PACE) was implemented for the management of foreign players and as a support system to supply clubs with elite international players to raise the league to a globally competitive level.

Alongside PACE, the six pillars of the SPL Transformation Strategy include: establishing a leading governance model; enhancing the competition’s operations, including broadcast and commercial rights; creating a framework for club development; setting up a player management ecosystem; and nurturing the human capacity of the SPL as an organisation.