Arsenal Football Club have arrived in Kuala Lumpur kicking off their 3-match pre-season tour in Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.
Organised by the Football Association of Malaysia and promoted exclusively by ProEvents International Sdn Bhd, the Gunners will play against the Malaysian XI at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on July 24. The match starts at 9:45pm local time.
“We are pleased to be back to Asia and it is our preferred choice to kick off our training in Malaysia as we have had such a warm welcome and fantastic reception last year,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Arsenal only played the national team in Malaysia last July, however the squad this time around is very much different. Among the entourage who boarded the plane from London include Wojciech Szczesny, Theo Walcott, Thomas Vermaelen, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Song, Mikel Arteta, Andre Santos, Gervinho, Kieran Gibbs and several others.
Wenger says all the players will get a chance to strut their stuff against the Malaysian outfit. “Pre-season is all about getting ready for the new campaign. I will definitely give everyone a run. It’s something both the players and the fans would want, anyway,” he quipped.
Meanwhile, national chief coach Datuk K. Rajagobal said the match against Arsenal would enable him to gauge his players in the national training squad in preparation for the Suzuki Cup in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championships scheduled to be held from Nov 24-Dec 22.
Malaysia, the defending champions, have been drawn in Group B with 2010 finalists Indonesia, Singapore and runner-up of qualifiers. Group A is made up of Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and winner of qualifiers.
“It will be a good test for the players. Arsenal is a good footballing side with exciting players. One of them, (Alex)
Oxlade-Chamberlain is a rising new star. It is exciting to meet them again.
“We lost to Arsenal 4-0 last year and we want to play better this time around. This will be our first match after the match against Singapore,” said Rajagobal, referring to the annual home and away series against their neighbours.
Team manager Dato Sri Subahan Kamal said the national team is as excited as the fans. “I am aware that Arsenal has a sizeable fan base in Malaysia. However, I hope the fans will reserve their cheers for the national team,” said Subahan, who is also a vice-president of the FAM.
Tickets for the match are priced at RM58, RM68, RM108 and limited VIP tickets at RM388. Tickets are available at all Ticketpro outlets nationwide, Ticketpro hotline 03-7880-7999 and www.ticketpro.com.my.
NOTE: Arsenal Training Session will be held on 23rd July 2012, 8.30PM at National Stadium, Bukit Jalil.
Released by Shekhinah PR on behalf of ProEvents.