Domestic soccer seasons in the AFC: Australia, Japan, Korean DPR and Korea Republic

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The Independent Online

Four national teams from the Asian Football Confederation have made it through qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. These are the dates of their domestic football leagues.

Australia - A-League
The A-League started up in its present format in 2004 and, due to Australia's pleasant climate, has in recent years attracted a number of high-profile foreign footballers to boost its talented base of Australians, including ex-Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, ex-Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke, and the Brazilians Romário and Fred.
Season started: August 6, 2009
Season ends: February 14, 2010
Defending Champions: Melbourne Victory

Japan - J.League
The J.League is often seen as a proving ground for football managers of all nationalities, as Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, Portuguese national coach Carlos Queiroz and ex-Brazil, Portugal and Chelsea manager Luiz Scolari all worked there during the mid-1990s.
Season starts: March 6, 2010
Season ends: December 4, 2010
Defending Champions: Kashima Antlers

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
DPR Korea League
Not much is known about the reclusive DPR Korea League, ensconced as it is within the borders of Kim Jong-Il's country, but that it remains a member of the AFC though club teams are excluded from competing in the AFC's Champions League.
Season's months: February, May, June, September, October.
Defending Champions: P'yongyang City Sports Group

Korea Republic (South Korea)
The K-League's Pohang Steelers are not only the K-League's most successful club but also the AFC's representative at the 2009 Club World Cup, having triumphed in the previous 2008/09 AFC Champions League.
Season starts: February 27, 2010
Season ends: December
Defending Champions: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors