Football: Spurs, West Ham, Hull to play Asia Trophy
Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Hull City will compete in the Barclays Asia Trophy at Beijing's Worker's Stadium this July, state media reported Wednesday.sports Updated: May 20, 2009 13:58 IST
Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Hull City will compete in the Barclays Asia Trophy at Beijing's Worker's Stadium this July, state media reported Wednesday.
The tournament coincides with Manchester United and Liverpool's pre-season tours to the region, giving the English Premier League a bumper opportunity to promote its brand in Asia.
Held every two years, the Asia Trophy was last played in Hong Kong where Portsmouth beat Liverpool on penalties in an event that was considered to be a massive marketing success.
Before that it was hosted by Kuala Lumpur (2003) and Bangkok (2005).
"The English Premier League Asia Trophy will be held from July 29 to August 1 in Beijing's Worker's Stadium and will include three English clubs and one Chinese team," said Sun Kanglin, head of the Beijing Sports Bureau.
The Xinhua news agency named the teams as Spurs, West Ham and Hull with Chinese Super League outfit Beijing Guo'an the fourth side involved. An official announcement is due next month, Sun added.
Earlier this year, Chelsea were reported to have been invited but they have instead opted for a pre-season warm-up in the United States.
Nevertheless, Asian football fans are in for a treat.
Premier League champions Manchester United will play in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Seoul and Hangzhou, China, between July 18-26 while Liverpool take the field in Bangkok and Singapore from July 22-26.
And recently promoted Wolves join Roy Hodgson's Fulham in a series of July games across Australia.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Serie A champions Inter Milan and Cup winners Lazio will contest the Italian Super Cup at Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium on August 8.
However, state media said the venue was already booked on that date for a performance of the opera "Turandot" directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou.
If a compromise is reached, it will be the first sports event held at the iconic arena since the Paralympic Games' closing ceremony last September.
It will be the fourth time the Super Cup, inaugurated in 1988, has been held outside its home country. It was previously hosted twice by the United States and once by Libya.