Avispa Fukuoka are a professional soccer club in the J. League, currently playing in J2. Their home town is Fukuoka city and their home stadium is the Level5 Stadium (Hakatanomori Football Stadium).
The club was founded originally in 1982 as Chuo Bohan Soccer Club in Shizuoka prefecture Fujieda city. In 1991, they promoted to the Japan Soccer League’s 2nd division (JSL 2) and to the Japan Football League’s 1st division (JFL 1) in 1993.
In 1994, they changed their club name to Chuo Bohan F.C. Fujieda Blux and in the same year they were accepted as J. League associate members. But since there weren’t any stadiums in Fujieda city that satisfied the J. League standards and because they were able to see eye to eye with Fukuoka city, that was enticed by the lure of a J. League club, the team moved their home town to Fukuoka city in 1995 and they also changed their club name to Fukuoka Blux.
That year in JFL, they contended with Kyoto Sanga FC and Vissel Kobe for the title and with a score of 24 wins and 6 losses, Blux dominated the league and secured their promotion to the J. League (J1) from 1996. Their team, at the time, was run by manager Jorge Mario Olguin, who was a member of the Argentine National team for the 1978 World Cup. They also had Diego Maradona’s younger brother Hugo Maradona, former Argentine National Team player Pedro Troglio and others on the team.
On top of that, to have a name that fits with their J. League affiliation, they became known as Avispa Fukuoka
After promoting to the J. League, they mainly hired former Japan National team veterans and players that were fired in other teams, yet their efforts didn’t reflect in their results and in 2001, with a 15th place finish, they relegated to J2.
Subsequently, they promoted to J1 several times, although they always fell back to J2 within a year. This vicious circle repeated over and over. Along with teams like Kyoto Sanga FC, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo and Shonan Bellmare, Avispa can be counted as one of J. Leagueｴs yo-yo clubs.
From 2015, the team’s manager has been Masami Ihara, who played for the Japan National Team and experienced winning the J. League championship as a defender for Yokohama Marinos during his active career. With Ihara as manager for the 3rd year, in 2017, the team is fighting for a promotion back to J1.
Avispa Fukuoka’s home jersey is navy blue and their supplier from 2015 has been ATHLETA. Their shirts have logos of their sponsors like FUKUOKA JISHO, Premiere Mobile, Pietro, and others.