Japan's registered "football family" tops 1.2 million

Japan Football Association's registered teams and players hit 1,255,892 mark for 2005, indicating the steady growth of the Japan football family, JFA reported. The number of players went up to 876,702 - 1.7% more than the previous year's 862,045. The biggest growth was seen in the number of futsal players, which rose from 101,619 to 120,472, an increase of 18.6%. In addition, the total number of 11-a-side teams is nearing 30,000 with 29,132 registered teams -- 195 better than the previous year's 28,937.

Japanese football's national governing body sees these figures as a positive response to their efforts. With the help of the newly introduced on-line registration system, 188,582 referees and 1,020 referee instructors have joined the family as well as 46,233 coaches from across the nation.

Following the 2002 World Cup, which Japan co-hosted with Korea Republic, the JFA set out to expand JFA membership holders to 2 million. In January 2005, the JFA made the "2005 Declaration" and unveiled additional mid- and long-term plans to increase the football family to 5 million by 2015 and 10 million by 2050.

See also: Japan FA builds flag pole highlighting 2050 goals (7 Nov 05)