Sport Asia
Don't Miss

Football: Debutants Atletico Madrid, Stoke face off at Soccer Sevens

Mark Sutcliffe, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Football Association; Wayne Fong, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citi Hong Kong; Chris Plowman, Tournament Director, HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens; and Tony Bratsanos, Chairman, HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens Organising Committee at the Official Draw. Photos: Power Sport Images for HKFC.

Mark Sutcliffe, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Football Association; Wayne Fong, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citi Hong Kong; Chris Plowman, Tournament Director, HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens; and Tony Bratsanos, Chairman, HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens Organising Committee at the Official Draw. Photos: Power Sport Images for HKFC.

April 14, 2015: English Premier League side Stoke City were drawn with Spanish champions Atletico Madrid in Group D of next month’s 16th HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens in Hong Kong.

 

Both sides will be playing in the first Soccer Sevens and will also face HKFA U-20 and Yau Yee League Select in the high-profile group at Hong Kong Football Club, which will host the international seven-a-side event from May 29-31 and was the venue for Tuesday’s Official Draw.

 

Newcastle United, the 2012 champions and 2013 runners-up, are the top seeds in Group A, which also features 2013 winners Leicester City, a Hong Kong Premier League club to be confirmed and Singapore Cricket Club.

 

West Ham United, back for the first time since 2012, will face Hong Kong champions Kitchee – the 2011 winners and last year’s finalists – Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG and HKFC Captain’s Select in Group B.

 

In Group C, five-time champions Aston Villa were drawn with first-timers Wellington Phoenix of New Zealand, a Hong Kong Premier League club and hosts Hong Kong Football Club. The European clubs traditionally feature U-21 sides, while sides from the Asia-Pacific often feature full-strength sides.

 

Citibank, which has title sponsored the HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens since 2011, also confirmed a new four-year title sponsorship of the event from 2015 to 2018.

 

Tournament Director Chris Plowman pulls out Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, who will send their Academy side to Hong Kong.

Chris Plowman draws out Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, who will send their Academy side to Hong Kong.

Weber Lo, Citi Country Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong and Macau, said: “We are thrilled to be the title sponsor for the HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens once again this year. Citi is committed to continue building this event into one of the world’s best seven-a-side tournaments.

 

“On this note, it’s exciting to see Spanish champions Atletico Madrid in this year’s event, which shows how its reputation is growing globally. We’re also proud to welcome Wellington Phoenix and Shanghai SIPG for the first time, and expect strong support for the five English Premier League clubs and local Hong Kong teams.”

 

Tony Bratsanos, Chairman of the tournament’s Organising Committee, said Citibank’s sponsorship enabled the event to attract international teams, with clubs coming from England, Spain, New Zealand, China and Singapore this year.

 

“Citibank’s sponsorship is huge for the tournament and will enable us to keep growing this event. Obviously Atletico Madrid are a huge draw this year, while Aston Villa, Newcastle, West Ham and Leicester have a traditional fanbase at the tournament, having competed before,” Bratsanos said.

 

“Stoke City are coming for the first time, which is exciting because The Potters are enjoying a strong season. Wellington Phoenix and Shanghai SIPG are bringing experienced squads for their debut, so should be pretty competitive.”

 

In the Masters Tournament for over-35 players, Wallsend Boys Club and USRC – BTS were drawn as the top seeds in Group A, which also features Kitchee All Stars, Kowloon Cricket Club and HKFC Veterans.

 

Seeds Citibank All Stars and Nottingham Forest Mobsters headline Group B, which includes SCC Tigers, Discovery Bay and HKFC Chairman’s Select. This year’s 10-team Masters Tournament has a new format, starting with two round-robin groups followed by the Cup semi-finals and final.

 

Mark Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Football Association, said the HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens held a special place in the local football calendar.

 

“The HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens is one of the city’s most popular annual tournaments for local players and fans, and we expect another fantastic three days at Hong Kong Football Club,” Sutcliffe said.

 

“Kitchee won the HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens in 2011 and reached last year’s final, so we expect them to proudly represent the Hong Kong Premier League, while we’re also proud to have the HKFA U-20 team compete, especially after our national youth teams did so well last year to reach the quarter-finals.”

 

Entry is free on the Friday evening, while tickets for the weekend are priced at HK$160 per day or HK$300 for a two-day pass and will be available through Cityline (www.cityline.com).

 

Main Tournament

Group A: Newcastle United (ENG), Leicester City (ENG), HK Premier League Club 1 (HKG), Singapore Cricket Club (SIN)

Group B: West Ham United (ENG), Kitchee (HKG), Shanghai SIPG (CHN), HKFC Captain’s Select (HKG)

Group C: Aston Villa (ENG), Wellington Phoenix (NZL), HK Premier League Club 2 (HKG), Hong Kong Football Club (HKG)

Group D: Stoke City (ENG), Atletico Madrid (SPA), HKFA U-20 (HKG), Yau Yee League Select (HKG)

 

Masters Tournament

Group A: Wallsend Boys Club (ENG), USRC – BTS (HKG), Kitchee All Stars (HKG), Kowloon Cricket Club (HKG), HKFC Veterans (HKG)

Group B: Citibank All Stars (INT), Nottingham Forest Mobsters (ENG), SCC Tigers (SIN), Discovery Bay (HKG), HKFC Chairman’s Select (HKG)

You must be logged in to post a comment Login