8th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) In an exciting development for football fans in Hong Kong, it has been announced that eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi and his Inter Miami teammates will be playing a pre-season friendly match in the city. The game, which is part of the club’s first-ever international tour, will take place on 4th February at the iconic Hong Kong Stadium, with a capacity of 40,000.
Jorge Mas, the Managing Owner of Inter Miami CF, expressed his enthusiasm about the upcoming visit, stating, “We’re very excited to be visiting Hong Kong and indeed Asia for the very first time. From the very beginning, we set out to be a global club at Inter Miami. This is a wonderful opportunity to do just that; we hope to enthuse and inspire new Inter Miami fans in Hong Kong and across Asia who share our passion for football.”
Legendary footballer David Beckham, who co-owns Inter Miami CF, also spoke highly of Hong Kong, describing it as a beautiful city with a great sports scene. Beckham himself had played in Hong Kong back in 2008 in a friendly match with his former club, LA Galaxy.
The news of Inter Miami’s visit to Hong Kong has generated significant interest, with expectations that tickets for the match will be in high demand. The exclusive ticketing platform Klook will handle the sales, and it has been revealed that the tickets will be available for purchase worldwide. Discussions have also taken place with the Hong Kong Tourism Board to attract international visitors to the city for the match.
Given the global popularity of both Inter Miami and Lionel Messi, securing tickets for the event is expected to be a challenging task. To address this, Eric Fok Kai-shan, the chairman of the Hong Kong Football Association, has called for the government and the organisers to coordinate the ticket sales process effectively. Fok also expressed the hope that more local football fans would have the opportunity to witness the presence of the football superstar and suggested that the Hong Kong Tourism Board arrange additional activities involving Messi to engage both locals and tourists.
Inter Miami’s international tour will kick off in February, with Hong Kong being the first stop. The match against the Hong Kong select team promises to be an exciting showdown. Tatler Asia, in partnership with the organisers, will exclusively release the tickets for sale on December 15. The ticket prices range from HK$880 to HK$4,880 for the match itself, while tickets for the open training session on February 3 will cost between HK$580 and HK$780.
Klook’s spokesperson, stated that for this event, there will be no separate ticketing channels for local and non-local buyers. Tickets will be available for purchase worldwide on a first-come, first-served basis. Only a limited number of tickets will be reserved for internal subscriptions, with the majority of tickets being made available for public purchase.
The arrival of Lionel Messi and Inter Miami in Hong Kong is seen as an opportunity to drive the commercialization of football in the city. Eric Fok Kai-shan believes that cultivating a strong fan base will contribute to the growth of football in Hong Kong, allowing for more resources and funding to support local teams and players. Fok expressed his commitment to improving football development and creating engagement among local fans.
The Hong Kong Football Association chairman also emphasized the importance of providing strong opposition for Messi and his teammates during the match. The Hong Kong side will be managed by national team head coach Jorn Andersen, despite the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar being scheduled for February 2 and 3.
The collaboration with Tatler Asia for this event is seen as a unique opportunity, and the Hong Kong Football Association is exploring further partnerships to attract renowned clubs to the city. Discussions are already underway for the return of the Lunar New Year Cup, and plans are being made to host additional matches in Hong Kong, creating renewed interest in football.