Manchester City, Tottenham and Sunderland to take part in Hong Kong tournament
Premier League sides confirmed for Barclays Asia Trophy
Thursday 17 January 2013
Champions Manchester City will join Premier League rivals Tottenham and Sunderland at the next edition of the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong this summer.
The three clubs will compete alongside local side - and Spurs partner club - South China FC at the biennial pre-season tournament from July 24-27.
It will be City's second appearance in the knockout event having previously played in Thailand in 2005, when they finished third.
Spurs were last involved in 2009, when they beat Hull in the final, while Sunderland will be making a first appearance.
City manager Roberto Mancini 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."
It will be City's second successive pre-season trip to the Far East after touring China and Malaysia last year.
Spurs also see it as a good opportunity to spread their global profile, having visited the United States and South Africa in recent years.
They have also enjoyed a successful relationship with South China FC since 2009.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas said: "Over the past few years, we have seen a significant increase in the levels of support the club has across the region.
"This tournament presents us with an opportunity to thank those fans, as well as introducing new fans to Tottenham Hotspur.
"We are also delighted to have the chance to compete alongside South China FC - a club with which we already enjoy a special relationship."
Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill believes his side will benefit from the trip.
He said: "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 all looking forward to competing against such very strong opposition on our Barclays Asia Trophy debut."
Hong Kong has twice staged the tournament before, in 2007 and 2011, and all matches will be played at the national stadium.
The Asia Trophy is the only tournament held outside of the UK affiliated to the Premier League, which has previously floated the idea of playing competitive fixtures abroad - the so-called "39th" games.
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."
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