Soccer Sevens Set to Return

Aston Villa and Newcastle United gear up to shine at HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens as event makes long-awaited return next month

Six-time winners Aston Villa and defending back-to-back champions Newcastle United will headline the cast of Premier League clubs appearing at the 2023 HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens as the prestigious event returns to the Hong Kong Football Club for the first time in four years.

Soccer Sevens in Hong Kong.

The three-day tournament, which was last held in 2019 before an enforced three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will run from May 26 to 28 and feature 26 teams across the Main Event and the Masters Tournament.

"We are absolutely thrilled to finally be able to bring the iconic HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens back to Hong Kong and once again welcome our friends and colleagues to Asia's World City," says Hong Kong Football Club Chairman Neil Jensen.

"The last three years have been challenging for everyone, but the love of football runs deep in Hong Kong and we are looking forward to seeing some of the finest young talent in the global game back on the pitch at Hong Kong Football Club."

The 2023 HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens will be the 21st edition of the competition, which was first held in 1999, and is the 10th tournament to be supported by Citi, with the company's sponsorship of the HKFC Soccer Sevens extending back to 2011.

"We are honoured and excited to be supporting this much-anticipated and always-entertaining competition again after a three-year break," says Chris Long, Chief Administrative Officer, Citi Hong Kong.

"The Soccer Sevens has a rich history in Hong Kong and we thank the Hong Kong Football Club for bringing the tournament back, connecting the community, fans and some amazing players from all over the world."

Sixteen teams will compete in the Main Event with Aston Villa looking to win a record-extending seventh title and their first since 2016 while Newcastle will be aiming to become the first club to win the trophy at three consecutive events.

"We are delighted to be returning to the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens next month," says Aston Villa Academy Manager Mark Harrison. "We are looking forward to defending our record at the tournament and our players and staff are excited to come and experience all that the tournament has to offer.

"We know from previous years what wonderful opportunities lie ahead both on and off the pitch. We would like to offer our best wishes to all of those involved and we look forward to seeing you all very soon."

Twice winners Leicester City will be returning to the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens while Brighton & Hove Albion and Fulham are also participating as part of the Premier League contingent.

They will be joined in the Main Event by Scottish giants Rangers as well as a Hong Kong Football Association representative side while domestic champions Kitchee will fly the flag for the Hong Kong Premier League alongside Tai Po.

The Citi All Stars return for the Masters Event, where they will feature alongside defending champions Wallsend Boys Club in a 10-team field that also boasts sides representing the Portuguese Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association.

The draw for this year's event will be conducted with the assistance of former England striker Les Ferdinand at the Hong Kong Football Club on April 26 and the action will kick off with the Masters Tournament on May 26. The Main Event commences on May 27, with both competitions running through until May 28.

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