Singapore will be the exclusive host nation for the International Champions Cup (ICC) in South-east Asia over the next four years.
The announcement was made at a press conference at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Thursday (16 March). The ICC is the world’s premier summer football tournament, and it regularly involves the best clubs from the world.
This is the first time the event will be held in this region. Current Premier League leaders Chelsea, four-time defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, and Italian giants Inter Milan will be the first teams to play in the edition in July this year.
The three teams will play each other once, with matches to be held from 25 to 29 July.
Tickets will be priced at $25 (child) and $40 (adult) for each match, and will go on sale from 30 March. The matches will also be broadcast live on MediaCorp’s Okto channel.
Patrick Murphy, president and chairman of Catalyst Media Group, which is behind the ICC, said choosing to hold the event in Singapore was a straightforward decision.
“There’s a huge, passionate following of European football in Singapore and we know the event will be popular with Singaporeans,” Murphy said.
“Singapore is the ideal place because it’s got an incredible infrastructure to bring tourism and fans around the region, and we are going to be expecting a lot of visitors.”
The ICC will be held here in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board, which sought to sign a four-year deal for the sole reason of “predictability”, said its deputy chief executive Melissa Ow.
“Fans look forward to it… There has to be that if you run an event. It is something which they can plan on their visits to Singapore and I think it makes a lot of sense for us to go into something that can be anticipated,” she said.
The clubs will also be holding running events “to try to do as much engagements with the local community”, Murphy revealed.
Murphy also hinted that fans of other European clubs can expect to see their clubs playing at the National Stadium in the next few years.
Currently, the ICC and football clubs have an agreement which includes rotating the clubs’ playing venues between North America and Asia each year. Among the clubs playing in North America this year are Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“Over the course of the four-year period, fans can expect to see a very good selection of teams,” he stated.