April 25 Sports Club (4.25체육단)

200px-425SG      425 jersey

Country: North Korea        City: Pyongyang          Founded: 1949

Colors: Red and White            Stadium: Yanggakdo Stadium

Web: Unsurprisingly, no web presence

April 25 Sports Club is one of the most successful clubs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea to you and me. It has fourteen league titles split between the old Technical Innovation Contests and the new Highest Class Football League. April 25 has also won three Republic Championships, which is the North Korean version of the League/FA Cup. The team was formed in order to raise the standard of soccer in North Korea to world standards. Kim Jong-il might not have had the best knowledge of how the World Cup works because he, in a speech to the team in 1972, stated that the April 25 Sports Club should win the World Cup in the future. Who knows, this may in fact be true in North Korean sports lore.

The team is named to coincide with the Military Foundation Day holiday. This, however, isn’t the original date the Korean People’s Army (KPA) was founded. That day would be February 8, 1948. The father of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, changed the date because he wanted to recognize the date the anti-Japanese rebel army was formed in 1932. The April 25th date allows the miltary’s founding to have a more Korean origin instead of the Soviet assisted KPA.

Being named after Military Formation Day, April 25 Sports Club belongs to the KPA. This “…..enables the players to copy the loyalty to the leader, and the indomitable fighting spirit and the strong sense of discipline displayed by the soldiers of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army…………. equipping the rank with the revolutionary idea of the great leader and achieving its unity of ideology and will on the basis of this is an important guarantee for winning victory in the games.” – Kim Jong-il

No word on who Kim Jong-un‘s favorite team is, but signs point to him being a Manchester United fan.

 

Military Foundation Day Parade
Military Foundation Day Parade

3424l

 

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