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Wednesday 06 March 2013

Chelsea excited about 2013 south-east Asia summer tour

Blues looking forward to returning to Thailand and Malaysia this summer and a first trip to Indonesia

  • Chelsea take on a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur in July 2011

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay says the club are excited about their 2013 summer tour of south-east Asia.

Gourlay has been visiting the countries involved this week, preparing the ground for the 2013 Here to Play, Here to Stay tour which will take place in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and said the Barclays Premier League side are “looking forward to coming here in July”.

"Here to Play, Here to Stay is using football to not only coach children but to show how sport can play a part in education and nutrition"
Ron Gourlay

The squad first travel to Bangkok on 11 July, where they will train for a week and play in the Thai capital at the 49,000-capacity Rajamangala National Stadium against a Thailand All-Star XI in the Singha Cup on Wednesday 17 July.

Chelsea next fly south to Malaysia, where they will spend five days training in Kuala Lumpur and participate in the second match of their pre-season preparations against a Malaysia national select XI at the Shah Alam Stadium on 21 July.

The Blues will then make their first trip to Jakarta, where they will face an Indonesia XI at the 88,000-seater Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in the BNI Cup on 25 July.

As well as conducting their pre-season training in sunny climes Chelsea will also devote time to their Here to Play, Here to Stay community project. The focus will be their Blue Pitch in the City programme – their social-responsibility scheme which gives local young people the chance to develop their footballing skills with the help of Chelsea coaches all year round. Blue Pitches have been built in all three tour host countries in addition to London, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines.

“The team are looking forward to coming here in July,” Gourlay told the club’s website. “Here to Play, Here to Stay is our grass-roots programme, using football to not only coach children but also to show how sport can play a part in education and nutrition. Our whole programme is based around our Blue Pitches.”

Chelsea’s 2013 Here to Play, Here to Stay tour

17 July Thailand All-Star XI v Chelsea, 8pm, Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok
21 July Malaysia National Select XI v Chelsea, 5pm, Shah Alam Stadium, Kuala Lumpur
25 July Malaysia National Select XI v Chelsea, 8pm, Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta

Arsenal plan for Vietnam

Arsenal are considering the merits of visiting Vietnam this summer, with chief commercial officer Tom Fox and marketing director Angus Kinnear in Hanoi holding discussions with the Vietnam Football Federation to explore the possibilities. It would be the first visit to the nation by a Barclays Premier League side.

"Initial negotiations have gone very well and we are hoping to announce developments on our pre-season tour activities in the near future,” Fox told the club’s website. "The club and the players have hugely enjoyed successful pre-season visits to Asia in the past two years, and we are all looking forward to bringing the team to this region again this year.”

The Gunners have already confirmed they will be playing a pre-season match in Jakarta, Indonesia in a two-day visit from 13 July, as part of an Asia Tour this summer, but final details of the tour itinerary are not finalised.

Barclays Asia Trophy

Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland and South China will also be on Asia in July when they participate in the Barclays Asia Trophy, which this year takes place in Hong Kong. The four-team knockout tournament will take place over two match-days on Wednesday 24 and Saturday 27 July 2013, with a final to determine the winner and a play-off for third place.

For a list of Barclays Premier League clubs on tour click here.

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Key Points

  • Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay in Asia discussing club's 2013 Here to Play, Here to Stay summer tour
  • Blues have announced dates for matches in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia
  • Arsenal also planning tour to Vietnam as part of their 2013 summer tour