Sunday 28 July 2013

Hong Kong Killer Pitch

Hong Kong played host to the Barclays Asia Trophy on Wednesday 24 July and Saturday 27 July. The three EPL teams were Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland, with reigning local champions South China making up the quartet.

Sunderland coach Paolo Di Canio called the 40,000-seater Hong Kong Stadium a "killer pitch" due to its poor drainage during torrential downpours. Spurs boss Andre Villa-Boas was not happy because his team lost 1—3 to Sunderland plus his Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen twisted ankle ligaments on the sodden surface. Villa-Boas flew in his own head groundsman to help with the pitch conditions at Hong Kong Stadium (see story here).

Here are some photos of Hong Kong Stadium during the BAT pre-season tournament ...

 First day's first match (Sunderland vs Tottenham) and the pitch is getting cut up

 The pitch conditions worsen. Pic courtesy Getty Images.

Hong Kong groundstaff doing their best to keep dry from the rain and mud-free from the pitch. Pic courtesy Getty Images.

Second day's second match (Man City vs Sunderland) and Spurs' head groundsman flew in and advised laying sand in the muddy patches of the pitch

The match Referees for the BAT tournament were EPL referees Anthony Taylor and Neil Swarbrick, who were joined by Hong Kong Referee Liu Kwok Man.

Next up, just two days after the end of the BAT, Manchester United play Kitchee (local league runners-up) on Monday 29 July. United manager David Moyes attended the BAT on Saturday 27 July to inspect the pitch. Understandably, Moyes called off the planned open training session for Sunday 28 July, in the hope that the pitch would be "playable" on Monday (see story here).


Tottenham 6 South China 0

Manchester City 1 Sunderland 0

United Refuse To Train At 'Killer' Hong Kong Stadium


  1. I don't suppose you were at these games by any chance? Glad to see you had a post when I first saw this posted on SoccerRefereeUSA. I had a hunch!

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