Paris Saint-Germain 'will still have strong line-up' for Kitchee game

Club boss Ken Ng Kin insists the weakened squad will not affect ticket sales, saying PSG still have a wonderful line-up for fans

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 May, 2014, 10:43pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 9:51am

Organisers are confident French champions Paris Saint-Germain will pull in the crowds for their match against Kitchee despite the likely absence of their World Cup players.

The Ligue 1 winners have 10 internationals on their books and if their national teams progress beyond the group stages of the tournament in Brazil they will not be available for the exhibition match at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29 against the current domestic champions.

There are still many other good players in PSG's star-studded line-up and these are all big names to true soccer fans
Ken Ng

But Ken Ng Kin, president of Kitchee Sports Management, was not worried about the weakened squad, saying PSG still had a wonderful line-up for the fans.

"Some World Cup players from a couple of nations could still be available, depending on how their teams finish in Brazil," said Ng.

"In any case, there are still many other good players in PSG's star-studded line-up and these are all big names to true soccer fans.

"Also, should PSG sign any new player before the tour, these players would also come to Hong Kong."

Spearheading the visitors' strong list of players is prolific striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish international that netted 26 goals this season to steer PSG to a second consecutive league title.

He scored 40 goals in all competitions, including 10 in eight Champions League games.

"Sweden is not in the World Cup finals and therefore Ibrahimovic will definitely come, so fans have a fine opportunity to witness his skills," added Ng.

"Other notable players include defender Marquinhos of Brazil, his countrymen Alex - also a defender - and midfielder Lucas, Argentinian Javier Pastore and Dutchman Gregory van der Wiel.

"They all missed World Cup selection for one reason or another but will come to Hong Kong."

The French champions have three players selected for their country's World Cup squad, three for Italy, two for Brazil, one for Argentina and one for Uruguay - striker Edinson Cavani, who joined from Napoli last summer for €64 million (HK$680 million) and is the most expensive transfer in French soccer history.

ll these World Cup players would come to Hong Kong if their respective countries fail to make it to the knockout stage.

Ng said the budget for the match would exceed HK$10 million, but if there were more than 20,000 fans, they could break even with profits going to the Kitchee Foundation. Ticket prices are from HK$330 to HK$780, with concessionary tickets at HK$180.