Press conference in Beijing - Picture gallery
Arsenal legend Martin Keown joined Arsenal executives on a four-day trip to East Asia to formally announce pre-season fixtures in Hong Kong and Beijing.
The group were in Hong Kong on Tuesday to confirm the second fixture of the Club’s Asia Tour 2012 - against Division One champions Kitchee FC at the Hong Kong Stadium on Sunday July 29.
Nicknamed the ‘Hong Kong Barça’, Kitchee FC are coached by a former youth coach of the Catalan side - Josep Gombau - who worked with Arsenal youngsters Ignasi Miquel, Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral in his old role, and the team promise to provide a good pre-season test.
After dropping in on the Hong Kong Supporters’ Club, Arsenal’s delegation then headed for mainland China to confirm arrangements for the Gunners’ exhibition match with Manchester City on Friday, July 27 at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium.
The team were joined by City representatives for the press conference, which took place at the home of British Ambassador Sebastian Wood.
Keown was joined at the top table by former Arsenal captain turned City ambassador Patrick Vieira, and the old team-mates came together once again to delight local media with tales of their playing days.
The Gunners’ travelling contingent then got a feel for football in China, taking in a Super League clash between Beijing and Shanghai at the Workers Stadium along with 51,000 fanatical local supporters.
The group were tailed by a throng of media throughout the trip and having conducted a stream of interviews and press conferences, fly back to London with the seeds of this summer’s tour successfully sown.
Tom Fox said: "We are delighted to be returning to China. We had a wonderful reaction to the team last year and once again we have been warmly received. We have many fans out here and there are many opportunities for us to build our name and business links over time."
Martin Keown added: "I was last here in 1990 and the changes in that time are amazing. Football and Arsenal are very popular and the team will have a great trip."
Scroll down this page for pictures from the event.
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