Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Hazard, Ba on Malaysian tour
Chelsea’s stars Eden Hazard and Demba Ba will be coming to town for the first time! The Belgian and the Senegalese are poised to make their maiden trip to Kuala Lumpur as part of the English Premier League team’s 2013/2014 pre-season tour.
This will be ‘The Blues’ third visit to Kuala Lumpur since 2008 and the friendly match against a Malaysian Selection will be played on July 21 at the Shah Alam Stadium. Chelsea will also play matches in Thailand and Indonesia.
Malaysian fans will also get the opportunity to watch UEFA Champions League winners such as Ashley Cole, Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill who will join the likes of Hazard and Ba on the Malaysian leg of the tour.
It will also be a sweet trip down memory lane for current skipper John Terry as it was in Kuala Lumpur that he earned accolades as team captain when lifting the Premier League Asia Cup in 2003, during Chelsea’s playing tour then.
This year’s summer tour will see the club living up to the theme ‘Here to Play, Here to Stay’, and is made possible through the concerted efforts of ProEvents International and the Football Association of Malaysia.
Chelsea will take to the field against the Malaysian Selection who are also known as Harimau Malaya (Malayan Tigers) four days after their friendly against Thailand All-Star XI on July 17 in Bangkok, before flying to Jakarta to conclude their tour against an Indonesian XI on July 25 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Chelsea’s Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said they are pleased to return to Kuala Lumpur as there is a large fan-base among Malaysians.
“It is fantastic news that we will be adding Kuala Lumpur to our already confirmed match in Bangkok and Indonesia this summer,” said Gourlay at a press conference at the Saujana Hotel in Subang, Wednesday (6/03/13).
Also present were the FA of Malaysia Vice-President Dato’ Seri Subahan Kamal who is also the national team manager and FAM General-Secretary Lt Gen (Rtd) Dato’ Azzuddin Ahmad.
“We look forward to the match against what promises to be a strong and improving opposition. Two years ago in Malaysia we narrowly won before 85,000 fans. And we are looking forward to the same stunning atmosphere once again. Each time we travel to Asia I am amazed at the reception, and I am sure this summer will be no different,” added Gourlay.
Kuala Lumpur has been home to a Chelsea FC Blue Pitch since 2011, providing a hub for their staff to bring expert grassroots coaching to Malaysian youngsters, and was also utilised during the youth team’s mini-tour of Asia last summer.
ProEvents International Managing Director San Boon Wah said Malaysia has always been the key destination for English Premier League clubs and Chelsea’s third visit here since 2008 will provide their fans another thrilling experience of watching Chelsea’s new signings for the first time.
“I am sure fans from this region will be very excited to watch the star-studded Chelsea team play against the Malaysian Selection,” said Boon Wah. “Several of them will be playing in Kuala Lumpur for the first time. It is great news and we appreciate Chelsea’s efforts to bring their best possible squad to Kuala Lumpur.”
He added that ProEvents takes great pride in organising this match and thanked the FA of Malaysia and Chelsea fans as well for their continued support.
“All Malaysian football enthusiasts should come and support the Malaysian Selection and Chelsea as well. I am confident the Stadium will once again be packed for this exciting match against Chelsea who have in their line-up some of the world’s most renowned players.”
Chelsea official club website receives more than 180,000 unique visits each month from Malaysia, and the club’s Facebook page has almost one million fans in the country. News on ticket sales for the matches against Malaysia will be posted on the official Chelsea website and ticketpro.com.