Hiroshima coach pleads for new soccer culture in Japan

By Brian Homewood

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A little sad. Where I'm from football is about supporting your local team regardless of their size or success. Sanfrecce have done brilliantly in recent seasons and deserve much better support. I've met many Japanese football fans who don't bother watching J-League or even sneer at it. That's very discouraging.

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Sanfreche was the better team but the South Americans had the experience and luck on their side. About the supporters I am always astonished that football games are played only once or twice a week and barely gather 20000, while baseball matches are almost every day and have double digits. And that's even after soccer was announced more popular among Japanese kids for practicing...

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European teams aren't that bothered about this tournament either, it means nothing compared to the Champions League. South American teams and fans are well up for it because they have a chip on their shoulder about Europe and think winning will show they are superior. Thing is, European sides ain't really that gutted if they lose or chuffed if they win. Maybe the Hiroshima fans are actually taking a mature approach to this Tin Pot cup and giving it the respect it deserves.

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