Wednesday 29 February 2012
Arsenal and Manchester City will play a pre-season friendly in Beijing's iconic 'Bird's Nest' stadium.
The Barclays Premier League rivals will compete for the inaugural China Cup at the spectacular Olympic venue - on the same day as the London 2012 opening ceremony.
"We will once again be bringing the club close to our loyal fans in China"
- Arsenal's Ivan Gazidis
The match kicks off at 8pm local time on Friday, July 27, which is 1pm in the UK and six-and-a-half hours before the eagerly awaited start of the London Games.
The Gunners are going to China for the second year in a row, following a successful tour in July 2011, which saw them play in Hangzhou.
City are making their third visit to China, although this is their first trip to Beijing. The club made a pre-season tour to Shanghai under former boss Stuart Pearce.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: "We enjoy huge support in Asia and by playing a match in Beijing, we will once again be bringing the club close to our loyal fans in China.
He added: "The match against Manchester City is sure to be an exciting spectacle, with many great players from both sides playing in front of thousands of supporters in the wonderful 'Bird's Nest' Stadium.
"It will be a fitting venue to host two of the Premier League’s greatest clubs"
- Man City's John MacBeath
"It is also fitting that two English clubs are playing each other on the opening day of the London 2012 Olympics, in the stadium which hosted the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games."
Manchester City's interim Chief Executive John MacBeath, said: "The 'Bird's Nest' Stadium is a truly iconic world sporting stadium, and it will be a fitting venue to host a classic encounter between two of the English Premier League's greatest clubs.
"It is clear that there is huge appetite for the Premier League in the Far East, and we are very much looking forward to taking our talented squad there to witness the excitement and put on a sporting spectacle for our fans in China."