Monday, 6 September 2010

Agremiação Sportiva Arapiraquense (Brazil)

Agremiação Sportiva Arapiraquense, thankfully better known by the three letter acronym ASA, are a Brazilian fooball club from the city of Arapiraca, in Alagoas state in Brazil- known as the City of Tobacco after the principal crop in this North Eastern region. They play in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B - the second tier of the national system - after they were promoted from Série C in 2009.

But they weren't the original football outfit in the city. They were formed in 1952 after the city's previous team, Ferroviário de Arapiraca, went under, and the city's top brass felt they needed something to keep the area in the national consciousness, and initially too the name Associação Sportiva Arapiraquense They took part in the Campeonato Alagoano - the state league of Alagoas - the following year, making the play off final. For some reason lost to history, their co-finalists refused to play them, so they were crowned champions at their first attempt, a title that they have now won six times in total.

They changed to their current, equally lengthy appelation in 1977, the Agremiação of their new name meaning College. Two years later they made it to Série A, and were nicknamed The Fantasma das Alagoas after their successful campaign. Ever since then they have used the obscure Disney character Phantom Blot as their mascot, renaming him Mancha Negra to local tastes.

They play their home games at the 10,000 capacity Municipal Coaracy da Mata Fonseca ground, and their fans prefer to go by the more formal nickname of Asa Gigante, which can mean both Giant ASA, and Giant Wing - although to be absolutely honest, I think I prefer the ghosts!

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