HONG KONG - The Premier League, the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) and Barclays have announced that Chelsea, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and the 2010/11 champions of the Hong Kong First Division League will compete for the Barclays Asia Trophy Hong Kong in July 2011.
ProEvents is delighted to be appointed as the English Premier League’s official event management partner of the Barclays Asia Trophy to be held in the summer of 2011 in Hong Kong.
Now an established part of the Premier League's fixture calendar, the Barclays Asia Trophy is a bi-annual tournament and the only Premier League-affiliated competition to be held outside England. This is the fifth Asia Trophy, the others having previously been held in Kuala Lumpur (2003), Bangkok (2005), Hong Kong (2007) and Beijing (2009).
The four team knock-out tournament will take place over two match days on Wednesday 27 and Saturday 30 July 2011, with a final to determine the winner and a play-off to decide third place. All matches will take place in the Hong Kong Stadium. The tournament will be officiated by Barclays Premier League Match Officials and HKFA Match Officials, and will also be staged in accordance with Barclays Premier League Rules.
Barclays is the title sponsor of the Asia Trophy for the third time. Commercial partners for the Barclays Asia Trophy are Nike, EA Sports and Samsung.
The Premier League has also committed to a full programme of "Creating Chances" activities, including coaching initiatives, refereeing schemes and community schemes to run alongside the Barclays Asia Trophy.
Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: "There is great anticipation at the Premier League in bringing the Barclays Asia Trophy back to Hong Kong. The HKFA put on an excellent tournament in 2007 and we are supremely confident they will repeat that success."
"The Hong Kong Stadium is a wonderful facility and, like last time, we hope to see it filled with those fans in East Asia that follow the Barclays Premier League week-in week-out. We are fortunate to have such a fantastic following in Hong Kong and we look forward to reacquainting ourselves with old friends."
"We also hope that our on and off-field knowledge will aid Hong Kong progress as a football nation. It is now central to the Barclays Asia Trophy that it helps the promotion of the game everywhere it goes. So there will be support in the areas of coaching, refereeing and community development."
"There are three excellent clubs in Chelsea, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers taking part in the Barclays Asia Trophy 2011. Between them they have won 46 major honours in their history, so they are clubs with a great history in football. But they also represent the best of the Barclays Premier League: they contain fresh and exciting playing talent, they are competitive and they have a fantastic following. I'm sure they will bring all of those things to Hong Kong."
Robert Morrice, Chairman and CEO, Barclays Asia, said: "Hong Kong is one of the great financial centres of the world and a place where Barclays has been expanding as a regional hub, so we are delighted that the Barclays Asia Trophy is returning to Hong Kong for the second time giving our firm and brand the chance to engage with football fans across the region."
"This is the first time we have had the Barclays Premier League champions in the tournament which will undoubtedly bring added excitement. The Barclays Premier League is the world's most popular and exciting domestic football league so we hope that this tournament will bring fans closer to the action and heighten their enjoyment of the game."
Brian Leung, Chairman of the HKFA is excited about the tournament being held in Hong Kong again: "By hosting Premier League tournament in town, which includes some of the best players in the world, the local football fans will be treated with a high quality and competitive tournament live." He continues, "HKFA is renowned for its capability to host prestigious matches and tournaments, and arrangements in all aspects will be well executed to ensure the success of the tournament."
Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti, said: "We look forward to taking part in the Barclays Asia Trophy having played matches and trained in Malaysia and Thailand before the tournament begins. Games against two Premier League sides and the Hong Kong champions will provide excellent preparation for the team ahead of the start of next season."
Aston Villa manager, Gerard Houllier, said: "The Barclays Asia Trophy is a tournament which Aston Villa is very much looking forward to competing in. It will be exciting to play in Hong Kong and the tournament will be a central part of our preparations for the 2011/12 season."
Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce, who won the Asia Trophy in 2005 when he was manager of Bolton Wanderers added: "I've some great memories of being involved with Asia Trophy, and that's not just because we managed to win it! The competition was both enjoyable and a great learning experience. To be able to go back to Asia and do it again with Rovers is a really exciting prospect, and I know that everyone connected with the club - the players, management, officials and fans - will benefit.
"When I was out there in 2005 with Bolton it was staged on Bangkok and I remember playing against Manchester City, Everton and the Thai u23 national team in a packed stadium with a terrific atmosphere. It looks like another great line up in Hong Kong and I can't wait to be part of it."
For more information please contact:
Ms Vicky Ho
ProEvents Management Limited
Tel: +852 2314 2112