Kyoto Football

Football is perhaps the most popular sport in the world and is watched by millions of people all across the world. Japan is not an exception; in the last ten years Japan has emerged as a major football playing nation in Asia.

 Soccer is one of the most popular sports of Japan and subsequently in Kyoto. Interest in the game of football is recent phenomenon in Kyoto; before the last decade of the twentieth century, football was not that much popular in the city. But then the fortune of soccer in the city took a major turn in with the introduction of the J league in the 1993. This year can be considered as a significant year in the history of soccer i Kyoto. After this football in Japan as well as Kyoto became a rage and soon soccer became the new passion of the city. Now the city boasts of many football clubs which have been performing reasonably in the major leagues in Japan.

J league has become one of the premier leagues in Japan and Kyoto boasts of two football clubs that participates in the league. Kyoto Purple Sanga in the premier professional football club of Kyoto; the club represents the city major tournaments of the country and enjoys a huge fan following in Kyoto. The name of the club is derived from the word “sanga”, which means group or club in Sanskrit. The word also indicates Kyoto's rich tradition of Buddhist temples. The word purple of the name of the club represents the color of the jersey of the club; but then it has been decided by the club authorities that the word purple will be dropped. This will come into effect from 2007 and form this year onwards the club will be known as Kyoto Sanga F.C. The club has achieved moderate success; it won the Emperor’s Cup in 2002 and qualified for the J League in the year 2001 and 2005. The club features many national players on its roster and in the past the club featured palyers like Teruaki Kurobe and Daisuke Matsui.

Sagawa Printing S.C. is another club based in Kyoto that plays in the J League. The club was established in 1986 and initially played in the Kyoto Prefecture Division 4. Since then the club has come a long way; the club qualified for the Division 1 in 1999 and played in the Kansai Regional League in 2000. The club won the Kansai Regional League in the year 2004 and after beating the Shizuoka Sangyo University team in a play off, eventually qualified to play in the J League. The interesting thing about the club is that the players of the club are the employees of Sagawa Printing.

Beside there are other clubs in Kyoto like FC Kyoto BAMB and Kyoto Shiko Club, which in the near future will become potential football clubs in Japan. The premier soccer stadium of Kyoto is Nishi Kyogoku, where most of the football matches are played.
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