Blues to play tour game in Malaysia
- 25 April 2012 07:54
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
City will make their first-ever visit to Malaysia during this summer's pre-season tour.
Roberto Mancini's men will head for capital Kuala Lumpur from China, where they are due to play Arsenal at Beijing Bird’s Nest Stadium on 27 July.
City will meet a Malaysian Select XI on 30 July at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in a match organised by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
"We are very honoured to be hosting Manchester City, as we are the only South East Asian country given this opportunity," said HRH Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, deputy president of the FAM.
"We are confident we will be able to live up to expectations of making their stay here memorable.
"Fans at Bukit Jalil are assured Manchester City will produce the same kind of charisma and camaraderie they displayed during the 2011/12 season when playing here in July.”
City Interim Chief Executive Officer John MacBeath said: “This visit is hugely exciting for Manchester City.
"It is clear that there is significant appetite for the Premier League in Malaysia, and we are very excited to be taking our talented squad there to put on a sporting spectacle for our fans in South East Asia. To witness the fans' excitement first hand will be a fantastic experience.”
Ian Cafferky, City's Chief Commercial Brand Officer, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet our Malaysian fans for the very first time.
"When we looked to go on tour, we looked for our fans and what the statistics told us, Malaysia has the fastest growing fanbase in the world.
Over the last eight months, our Malaysian facebook fans have increased 150 per cent
"I am sure the Premier League fans in Malaysia know what an exciting period for Manchester City this is right now, and this visit continues our exciting growth story.
"I am certain that it is just the beginning and we look forward to connecting in meaningful ways with our fans and Malaysian football in the run up to the tour and for many years after."
City’s visit to Malaysia has been made possible by Asia’s leading football promoters ProEvents, who are celebrating their 20 years in the football business.
"It is another coup for Malaysia,” said ProEvents CEO Julian Kam.
This match will attract many fans, not only from Malaysia but also countries such as Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand
City's Far East trip kicks off with the China Cup game at the Bird's Nest Stadium made famous by the 2008 Olympics - coincidentally, on the same 27 July date the London Olympics opens.
The tour follows Blues trips to Japan and South Korea in 1975/76 and China in 1996, while a pre-season tour to Shanghai under Stuart Pearce included Sun Jihai in the team.