Gwangju Sangmu FC

Gwangju Sangmu
광주 상무
Full name Gwangju Sangmu Football Club
광주 상무 프로축구단
Nickname(s) Bulsajo (Phoenix)
Founded 2003 as Gwangju Sangmu Bulsajo[1]
1984 as Sangmu FC (Original)
Dissolved 2010
Ground Gwangju World Cup Stadium
Ground Capacity 44,118
Owner South Korea Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps
Chairman South Korea
Manager South Korea
League South Korea
Korea Armed Forces
Athletic Corps

  • Second Athletics Unit

  • Third Athletics Unit
    • Aquatics
    • Archery
    • Athletics
    • Biathlon
    • Cycling
    • Fencing
    • Modern pentathlon
    • Shooting
    • Taekwondo
    • Women's football

Gwangju Sangmu FC (Korean: 광주 상무 프로축구단), was a professional football club that participates in the K League Challenge. The club was based in Gwangju, South Korea. Sangmu (상무, 尙武) is the sports division of the Military of South Korea.

K-League officially considers Gwangju Sangmu FC as a defunct club. Sangju Sangmu FC, what is essentially its successor military club, cannot include Gwangju Sangmu FC's records as its own, since they are treated as two distinctive clubs.


Origin – Army FC, Navy FC, Air Force FC era (?-1983)

There were ROK Army FC, ROK Navy FC, ROK Air Force FC until 1983 in Korea. ROK Marine Corps FC became ROK Navy FC in 1973. The 3 military football clubs were consolidated into one, football side of Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps in January 1984.

Founding and Sangmu Semi-professional FC era (1984–2002)

Sangmu FC was founded on 11 January 1984, as the football side of Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps.[2][3] Although Sangmu squad was composed of professional players from K-League club, Sangmu FC competed in the Semi-professional league (present Korea National League). In 1985 Sangmu joined the K-League for the 1985 season, but spent only one year in the league before dropping out.

Sangmu's playing staff is made up of young Korean professional footballers serving their compulsory two-year military duty. Fifteen players join up at the start of every season and spend two years with the side before returning to their previous professional club. Sangmu are not allowed to sign any foreign players because of their military status. The military nature of the club means that the overwhelming majority of the players are in their early 20s, and thus lack the playing experience of the opponents. As a consequence, the club has historically been underachievers in the K-League.

The reserve side, Sangmu B, competed in the K2 League from 2003 to 2005 before joining the K-League reserve league. It finished runners-up in the 2003 K2 League season, and was based in Icheon for the three years it competed at K2 level.

Gwangju Sangmu FC era (2003–2010)

After establishing a home base in Gwangju, the club rejoined the K-League at the start of the 2003 season as Gwangju Sangmu Bulsajo. Since 2004, the club has been known as Gwangju Sangmu FC.


Season Division Tms. Pos. FA Cup AFC CL
1985 K1 8 6 - -
1996 Semi-professional Era Round of 16 -
1997 1st Round -
1998 Round of 16 -
1999 Quarter-final -
2000 Round of 16 -
2001 Round of 16 -
2002 Round of 16 -
2003 K1 12 10 Round of 16 -
2004 K1 13 8 Quarter-final -
2005 K1 13 13 Round of 16 -
2006 K1 14 14 Round of 16 -
2007 K1 14 14 Round of 16 -
2008 K1 14 14 Quarter-final -
2009 K1 15 11 Round of 16 -
2010 K1 15 14 Quarter-final -


Reserve team





# Name From To Season Notes
South Korea Kim Young-Bae 1984/01/11 1984/??/?? 1984 (Semi-professional)
South Korea Jang Jong-Dae 1985/??/?? 1985/07/09 1985
South Korea Kim Young-Bae 1985/07/10 1989/12/?? 1985
1986–1989 (Semi-professional)
South Korea Lee Kang-Jo 1990/??/?? 2010/10/27 1990–2002 (Semi-professional)
South Korea Lee Soo-Chul 2010/10/28 2011/07/13 2010–2011

Season record

K League

Gwangju Sangmu
Season Teams P W D L GF GA GD Pts Position Korean FA Cup League Cup Top scorer
(League goals)
1985 8216782330−7196th NoneNone South Korea Hong Seok-Min (6)
2003 1244137244160−194610th Round of 16None South Korea Lee Dong-Gook (11)
2004 132461171820−2298th Quarter-finals10th South Korea Park Jung-Hwan (4)
2005 132445152338−151713th Round of 1611th South Korea Kim Sang-Rok (5)
2006 142658131729−122314th Round of 1611th South Korea Kang Yong (4)
South Korea Chung Kyung-Ho (4)
2007 142626181444−301214th Round of 16Group stage South Korea Namgung Do (7)
2008 142637162246−241614th Quarter-finalsGroup stage South Korea Kim Myung-Joong (7)
2009 152893163340−73011th Round of 16Group stage South Korea Choi Sung-Kuk (9)
2010 1528310151743−261914th Quarter-finalsGroup stage South Korea Choi Sung-Kuk (4)

R League

Gwangju Sangmu Reserves
Season Stage Teams P W D L GF GA GD Pts Position Top scorer
(League goals)
2002 South Group5167723318+15281st
2006 Group A4186482326−3224th
2007 Group B4187472825+3253rd
2008 Group B82194829290316th
2009 Group B4125342015+5182nd
2010 Group B8146262324−1204th
Sangju Sangmu Phoenix Reserves

Korea National League

Icheon Sangmu
Season Stage Teams P W D L GF GA GD Pts Position League Cup Top scorer
(League goals)
2003 First Stage1094231513+2144th None South Korea Lee Gwang-Jae (7)
Second Stage109540189+9191st
2004 First Stage109612129+3193rd Group stage South Korea Kim Man-Joong (3)
South Korea Park Jung-Hwan (3)
Second Stage1092431112−1106th
2005 First Stage1110433118+3156th Semi-finals South Korea Oh Jung-Seok (7)
Second Stage1110532116+5182nd


Kit Supplier

See also


  1. Official Club Profile at K League Website (Korean)
  2. 군경기단체 국군체육부대로 통합 팀 명칭 상무, 마스코트는 불사조로 (in Korean). Dong-a Ilbo. 1984-01-11.
  3. 육,해,공 3군통합 스포츠팀 상무 창단 (in Korean). Maeil Business Newspaper. 1984-01-12.
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