Saturday, 20 April 2024

FC Imabari

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FC Imabari was formed way back in 1976, under the name "Onishi Soccer Club", in the area of Ehime Prefecture adjoining the famous Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge, which links Shikoku to Honshu. The Club changed its name to Ehime FC Shimanami and became a leading amateur power in the Shikoku League, until its reorganization in 2012 following a narrow miss in the bid for JFL admission. The club established a professional club structure in 2012, changing the team name to "FC Imabari". In 2013, the team again won the Shikoku League, and made its way into the JFL for the first time. That winter, as Imabari tried to lay the groundwork for future growth, a well-known figure from Japan's football history stepped into the picture. Former Japan National Team coach Takeshi Okada purchased a 51% stake in the team, and launched FC Imabari's bid to join the J.League.

At about this time, FC Imabai adopted an informal mascot -- a rather generic yellow blob wearing a "crown" shaped like the Kurushima Kaikyo bridge, with a large merchant ship tucked into its "obi" (belt). The creature's name is "Bari", and it remains a very simple and amateurish design. Most observers expect the mascot to get an upgrade in the near future, as FC Imabari moves into a more "professional" environment.

In 2019, FC Imabari finished third in the JFL, and also met all organizational/financial criteria for J3 membership. The J.League officially approved its membership in December 2019, setting the stage for Imabari's entry to the J.League in 2020, as the 55th professional team in Japan.

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Home Uniform   --   Away Uniform

Management Corporation: .




Address: 4

Hometown Area: Imabari, Ehime Prefecture

Home Stadium: Stadium (capacity: )

Joined J.League: 2020