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Thu, 17 Jan 2013

Barclays Asia Trophy Returns to Hong Kong 2013

HONG KONG -

South China FC to compete against Premier League sides in four team tournament that takes place on Wednesday 24 and Saturday 27 July 2013

The Premier League, the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) and Barclays have announced that Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland and South China FC, the most decorated side in the history of Hong Kong First football, will compete for the Barclays Asia Trophy Hong Kong in July 2013.

Now an established part of the Premier League’s fixture calendar, the Barclays Asia Trophy is a biennial tournament and the only Premier League-affiliated competition to be held outside England. This is the sixth Asia Trophy, the others having previously been held in Kuala Lumpur (2003), Bangkok (2005), Hong Kong (2007 and 2011) and Beijing (2009).

The four team knock-out tournament will take place over two match days on Wednesday 24 and Saturday 27 July 2013, 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 fourth time. Commercial partners for the Barclays Asia Trophy are Nike, EA Sports, Carlsberg, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Now TV.

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. To keep fans up-to-date with the latest news on the Barclays Asia Trophy 2013, the Premier League’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/premierleague is now available in Cantonese.

Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: “We are hugely excited at the Premier League to be bringing the Barclays Asia Trophy back to Hong Kong for a third time. The 2011 tournament was without doubt our most successful to date and the atmosphere inside the Hong Kong Stadium on both nights was particularly memorable.

“I believe we are bringing to the Barclays Asia Trophy Hong Kong our strongest ever line-up of teams. Again, in Manchester City, we have the reigning Barclays Premier League champions taking part. Tottenham Hotspur play a the exciting attacking brand of football that makes the Premier League the most watched league in the world, while Martin O’Neill is sure to bring a never-say-die Sunderland to Hong Kong.

“They are clubs of outstanding pedigree and history who represent the best of the Barclays Premier League: they have some of the world’s best footballers, they are winners and they also have many fans in Hong Kong that they are looking forward to entertaining.”

Robert Morrice, Chairman and CEO, Barclays Asia, said: “The Barclays Premier League has a great following across Asia and this is particularly true in Hong Kong where we have a hotbed of passionate fans. Hong Kong is one of our regional hubs, so we are delighted that the Barclays Asia Trophy is returning to Hong Kong for a third time. This tournament will bring fans closer to the action and give Barclays the chance to engage with our clients and the community.”

Brian Leung, Chairman of the Hong Kong Football Association, said: “There is fanatical following of the Barclays Premier League in Hong Kong and the Barclays Asia Trophy is always one of the highlights of the football calendar. The HKFA is delighted to welcome the event to Hong Kong once again and to be associated with such an esteemed competition. We can’t wait to welcome some of the world’s best footballers to Hong Kong.”

Roberto Mancini, Manchester City manager, said: “The Barclays Asia Trophy will be a fantastic challenge for Manchester City. It gives us the opportunity to showcase the club’s footballing talent to our supporters in Hong Kong, which is such a vibrant venue to host a high quality tournament like this. We experienced the passion that football fans in Asia have for the Barclays English Premier League when we visited China and Malaysia last year and we are very much looking forward to this summer.”

Andre Villas-Boas, Head Coach, Tottenham Hotspur said: “We’re delighted to have the chance to play in the Barclays Asia Trophy, a tournament the Club won when we last took part, in 2009. Over recent years we have seen a significant increase in our fan base across Asia and this tournament provides us with an excellent opportunity to give something back to our supporters in Hong Kong and China. The tournament is made that much more special for us by the participation of South China FC, a close partner of ours with whom we enjoy a fantastic relationship.”

Martin O’Neill, Manager, Sunderland, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be participating in the 2013 Barclays Asia Trophy, once again taking place in Hong Kong. The stature and prestige of the event is such that, when invited, we readily accepted. Hong Kong’s reputation as a brilliant venue is also growing tall and we are looking forward to competing against such very strong opposition on our Barclays Asia Trophy debut.”

Steven Lo, Chairman, South China FC, said: “It is South China’s, and Hong Kong’s honour to have the Barclays Asia Trophy held again in our city this summer. It is perfect exciting news for all keen football fans here and we are all so much looking forward to the tournament.”

For more information please contact:

‧ The Premier League Press Office on 0044 (0)20 7864 9190 or go to www.premierleague.com
‧ The Barclays Sponsorship Press Office on 0044 (0)203 134 1778
‧ ProEvents Management Ltd. (Hong Kong) on + 852 2314 2112 or go to www.proevents.com

Notes to Editors:
‧ Ticketing and travel information for Hong Kong and UK based fans will be announced towards the end of the Barclays Premier League season via the HKFA and participating clubs’ websites.
‧ The Barclays Asia Trophy has been sanctioned by HKFA.


About the Barclays Premier League
The Barclays Premier League is the biggest continuous annual global sporting event in the world. Last season more than 13.1m fans attended matches with average stadium occupancy in excess of 92% for the fourth season in a row. Across nine months of the year 380 matches are viewed in 212 territories worldwide. Coverage of the matches is available in approximately 720m households.

About Barclays
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.

With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 140,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.com .

For further information please kindly contact:

Ms Vicky Ho
Project Director
ProEvents Management Ltd
(+852) 2314 2112
pem@proevents.com

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