The history of Xiamen football

Updated: 25 May 2012
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Few people realize that Xiamen is believed to have been the first city in China to play host to football matches. During the final years of Qing Dynasty, Western culture had a significant influence on China. In February 1898, Xiamen Yingwa School was established on Gulangyu by a British missionary.

Records show that the Yingwa football team was founded soon after that, and football immediately became the most popular extra curricular activity of the school at that time.

The former venue of the People’s Stadium of Gulangyu was called Fan Zai Qiu Pu (番仔球埔)

People’s Stadium of Gulangyu was built on 14th October, 1956.
Xiamen’s, and maybe even China’s, first football pitch was located at what is now the People’s Stadium of Gulangyu. The Yingwa football team used to play regular games there with the football team formed by the island’s foreign residents. Residents of the island often gathered to watch the two teams playing matches, and thus became football aficionados at a very early stage.

During the last century, Xiamen’s football players regularly used to represent China and take part in international matches.

The modern history of Xiamen football started in 1957, when Fujian Football Team was founded in Fuzhou(the capital city of Fujian), with the coach and most of the members coming from Xiamen. The team used to represent Fujian province to take part in national games

Xiamen Football Club
Xiamen Blue Lions
Xiamen Blue Lions

On 23rd February, 1996 Xiamen FC was created to take part in the Chinese football league system where they started in the third division. Xiamen FC was a joint-stock club invested in by 51 enterprises with a total investment of RMB30 million.

The team took part in China League Two (the third tier league under the auspices of the Chinese Football Association) in 1996 and 1997. In 1998, the team started to take part in the National Football Jia B League (the second tier professional league for Chinese football clubs). Xiamen FC won the championship in 2002 and the runner-up place in 2004.

In 2005, Xiamen FC was named Xiamen Blue Lions and was one of the sixteen teams initially included in the Chinese Super League, the highest tier of professional football in China. However, due to a number of different reasons, the team was relegated to a lower division in 2007 and was officially disbanded in 2008. 
Team Name
Xiamen FC (厦门队)
Xiamen Yuanhua (厦门远华)
Xiamen FC (厦门队)
Xiamen Xiaxin (厦门厦新)
Xiamen Hongshi (厦门红狮)
Xiamen Shishi (厦门吉祥石狮)
Xiamen Blue Lions (厦门蓝狮)
Fujian Smart Hero Football Team
Smart Hero Football Club
Xiamen Smart Hero Football Club
Xiamen Smart Hero Football Club Fujian Smart Hero Football Team (厦门骏豪足球俱乐部福建骏豪足球队) is a Chinese football club based in Xiamen who currently play in the 30,000 seater Fujian Provincial Stadium, Fuzhou, Fujian province. The club plays in the China League One.
The club was established as a amateur club named Xiamen Dongyuhang (厦门东屿行) on 4 January 2001. It played in the amateur league for ten years and claimed runners-up in the 2010 China Amateur Football League.

On 25th February 2011, the club was reorganized as a professional football club. The name of the club was changed into Fujian Smart Hero. It played in the China League Two from 2011 league season. Fujian promoted to 2012 China League One via League One relegation play-off which Fujian beat Guizhou Zhicheng 6-5 in the Penalty shootout.
Xiamen International Football Club  
Xiamen International Football Club
Xiamen International Football Club
Founded by three football lovers, namely Danilo from Germany, Peter from Taipei and Xiao Xu from Xiamen on 8th August, 2007, the Xiamen International Football Club has gathered both amateur and professional football players from different countries around the world.

Since the Xiamen International Soccer Team was founded, the team has taken part in Xiamen Amateur Soccer Games for 4 successive years. In the past years, they have been gathering every Friday to play together.

The history of international football games in Xiamen is set to be changed as the first Amoy Cup football tournament is set to kick off on Saturday 23rd June on natural grass at Gulangyu People's Stadium. The Xiamen International Football Club is inviting 10 teams to compete in the "Amoy Cup" football competition.
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