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Japan Football Hall of Fame

JFA Hall of Fame Inductee

KAWABUCHI Saburo
Inductees recommended by the Committee (Past Presidents/10th president)
Time in charge: 2002 - 2008
KAWABUCHI Saburo
Born in Osaka on 3 December 1936

First learns football at Mikunigaoka High School, before going on to play at Waseda University and Furukawa Electric Football Club. Makes debut for the full Japanese national team in a friendly match against Hong Kong in 1958, while still at Waseda University. At the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, scores one goal and assists another as Japan come from behind to beat a strong Argentina team and qualify for the quarter-finals. Plays in a total of 26 "A" matches for the national team, scoring 8 goals.

Manages the Furukawa Electric Football Club after his playing retirement, before managing the Japanese national team from 1980 to 1981. Appointed as general secretary of the JSL and named onto the board of the JFA in 1988, where he helps to lead Japanese football into a professional era. Appointed as inaugural chairman of the J League in 1991, and strives to "strengthen Japanese football" and to "promote local sports". Becomes vice-president of the JFA in 1994. Contributes greatly to the Japanese bid and eventual co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Appointed as JFA president in 2002, where he continues to be known by his "Captain" nickname, and instigates reforms targeting grass roots football. Introduces the "Captain's Mission" as part of these reforms, in which he promotes the spread and strengthening of football in Japan and the development of better sporting environments. Sets clear objectives for Japanese football in the "JFA 2005 Declaration" and appeals for its development at home and abroad. Works to promote the international image of Japanese football, working towards securing the hosting rights of the FIFA Club World Cup for Japan and as part of the professional league reforms in the AFC, but maintains his deep-rooted association with social contribution activities such as the 2JFA Kokoro no Project (Heartful Project)" and the "Environmental Project", and continues to serve as a true leader within sporting spheres. Receives the Diamond of Asia award at the AFC Annual Awards in 2005, and the FIFA Order of Merit in 2006.
Awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in 2009.
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