Think of Hong Kong ‘Sevens’ and the oval shaped sport comes to mind, but things are slowly changing with the HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens having established themselves as the world’s best seven-a-side soccer tournament. Over recent years, the tournament has grown in prestige and this is reflected by the reputable teams headed to Hong Kong on the weekend of May 23-25.
The English Premiership and Scottish Premier league will be well represented by household names such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Sunderland, current holders Leicester City and Scottish giants Rangers, who will all field youth and academy sides. They will now face stiff competition from Guangzhou Evergrande, the current Chinese Super League and Asian Champions league winners. With the Chinese Super League on an upward trajectory, having the Guangzhou Evergrande is seen as a major coup for the organizers.
The format of the tournament is simple and is divided into two.
The ‘Main’ competition is the open age group where players must be at least 16) and features youth and academy teams from some of the top clubs in Europe playing against more senior players from leagues around Asia. The games are played at a furious speed and goals are always guaranteed and most matches see end to end action.
The main competition has seen new future stars flourish and ‘golden oldies’ lace up their boots for a little bit of nostalgia. Future stars who have thrilled the Hong Kong crowd in the main competition include Gabriel Agbonlahor, Glen Johnson, Marc Albrighton, David Bentley, Anton Ferdinand, Sammy Ameobi and Shaun Maloney.
The Masters tournament (for players over 35) has featured former England internationals and crowd favourites Peter Beardsley, John Barnes, Chris Waddle, Teddy Sheringham, Des Walker, Andy Cole and Matt Le Tissier, German legends Jurgen Klinsmann and Pierre Littbarski, former France winger Didier Six and Finnish icon Jari Litmanen.
https://www.facebook.com/hksoccer7s – Official Facebook Page
http://www.hksoccersevens.com – Official Website
Christopher KL Lau is the Hong Kong Correspondent for Wildeast Football. He has figured out twitter and can be found here: https://twitter.com/Chris_KL_Lau
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