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29/08/2011

F.A. Silver Cup to be presented to Emperor’s Cup winners

The F.A. Silver Cup, reproduced by the England Football Association for the Japan Football Association, will be presented to the winners of the Emperor’s Cup from this year.

This year's tournament gets under way from September 3.
“This year’s tournament will have a special meaning for us,” JFA President Junji Ogura said in Tokyo on Monday.
With September marking the JFA’s 90th anniversary, Ogura wanted to reproduce the Cup, which had significance in relation to the birth of the JFA and also served as a symbol of the friendship between the two associations.
The original F.A. Silver Cup was presented by the English F.A. in 1919 as a mark of  friendship and to promote football in Japan.
The JFA was not in existence at the time, so the Japan Sports Association received the Cup from the English F.A. and Japanese sports officials then set about establishing a football association. The JFA was born two years later in September 1921.
Two months after that, a nationwide knockout tournament called the Association Football National Championship – the predecessor of the Emperor’s Cup – was launched, and the F.A. Silver Cup was awarded to the winners of the tournament.
In January 1945, however, the F.A. Silver Cup had to be handed over to the Japanese government due to the situation in World War II.
Sixty-six years later, Ogura went to England to make an official apology for having lost the Cup and ask for permission to reproduce it.
The English F.A. gave him more than he expected. They reproduced the Cup and handed it over to the JFA in a ceremony at Wembley Stadium in London on August 23 attended by F.A. Chairman David Bernstein, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Trevor Brooking and the Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.
“It was a fantastic ceremony, and we are so grateful to the F.A. for their kindness,” said Ogura. “We wanted to reproduce the Cup to deliver a message of how stupid war is to our younger generation. The Cup can serve as a symbol of peace.
“At the same time, we are able to recognize the long history of our tournament, the Emperor’s Cup.”
“The winners of this year’s tournament will be the first to have their name carved on the base of the Silver Cup,” Ogura noted.
The Emperor’s Cup, featuring 88 teams – including all the J. League teams and qualifiers from 47 prefectures – will start on September 3. The final will be held on January 1 at the National Stadium.