Hong Kong Soccer Sevens adds Marseille, Bayer Leverkusen and Cagliari to 2017 line-up
Further teams from Europe and Asia set to be announced for May event as organisers promise their ‘most diverse’ tournament yet
French Ligue 1 club Marseille, German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen and Italian Serie A outfit Cagliari have been confirmed to feature in this year’s HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens.
Further teams from Europe and Asia are set to be announced for the event, which takes place over May 26-28 at the Hong Kong Football Club.
“We are delighted to announce that this year’s HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens will be the most diverse in its entire history,” director Chris Plowman said of the tournament, which has run for 19 years.
“In the past few years we have said we are keen to diversify the event and get participation from more leagues around the world.
“With Marseille, Bayer Leverkusen and Cagliari we will see that come to fruition with representation from the top divisions of the French, German and Italian leagues for the very first time at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens. It’s going to be fascinating to see them take on the English, Scottish and Asian teams.”
Marseille have won the Ligue 1 title 10 times and are the only French side to have been crowned European champions, having lifted the Champions League trophy in 1993.
“The seven players a-side format is well adapted to the type of players we shape. That’s an amazing and exciting challenge,” said a Marseille club statement.
Leverkusen, the five-time German Bundesliga runners-up, won the Uefa Cup in 1988 and also reached the Champions League final in 2002.
“All participants will get an impression of this modern city. Our players and staff will gain a very important international experience which will not be forgotten so quickly,” said Leverkusen in a club statement.
Former Italian champions Cagliari won the second division title last year to gain promotion back to Serie A.
“We are sure that it will be a great challenge for personal and professional growth for both our young players and management, enabling us to meet with a reality that is very difficult from ours and to immerse ourselves in an entirely new culture, as well as giving the opportunity to approach the constantly growing Asian market,” said Cagliari commercial, marketing and communication director Mario Passetti.