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SOCCER

Arsenal: 'We've promised fans a China rematch'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2012, 12:05am
 

English Premier League side Arsenal will come back to China for a pre-season game next summer after a good run in this part of the world this year.

The Gunners played Manchester City in the Bird's Nest in Beijing in July and came to Hong Kong for a friendly against domestic champions Kitchee.

"I can't imagine that we will not be in China in the summer," said Tom Fox, chief commercial officer of the club, who was in Hong Kong yesterday to present Kitchee with a donation of HK$780,000 to the Kitchee Football Centre.

"We made a commitment in China and started with our partners to engage with the Chinese fans, as we have a very large social media community, which is growing fast ... we have promised fans we will be coming back."

After last year's visit to Beijing and 2011's to Hangzhou, Fox said cities such as Shanghai, Dalian and Qingdao and Guangzhou are possible next stops.

Manchester United are set to visit Hong Kong this summer to play Kitchee.

"We won't come [to Hong Kong] every year," he said. "We have no difficulty convincing our players and manager to come back to Hong Kong as everyone loves it. But I think it is great for Hong Kong and great for the EPL if Manchester United come this summer, as an EPL team should come here every single year - that's what Hong Kong deserves."

Located in Shek Mun, Sha Tin, Kitchee's Football Centre will cost HK$55 million and is due to open in January 2014.

"We have a great relationships with Kitchee as we share the same vision to develop young football players," said Fox, as he handed over the cheque.

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