Bayern to headline ICC in Singapore?
German giants could be one of three clubs participating in premier pre-season tourney
Bayern Munich will strut their stuff at the National Stadium in July as one of possibly three teams participating in the International Champions Cup (ICC), The New Paper has learnt.
Germany's most successful club are pencilled in to play two matches at the 55,000-capacity venue at the Singapore Sports Hub, in the Singapore leg of the ICC, which has become the premier pre-season tournament for Europe's top clubs.
TNP reported yesterday that German media had quoted Bayern executive board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as saying the club would play two friendly matches each in China and Singapore during the summer break for European clubs, which typically stretches from May to late July.
Rummenigge reportedly made the comments at an event on Thursday when former players Giovanni Elber, Bixente Lizarazu and Hasan Salihamidzic were unveiled as club ambassadors.
His quotes were later also carried on the official Bundesliga website, which noted the club had picked China and Singapore because the club wanted "to raise brand awareness in a strategic location on their 2017 Asia summer tour".
Sources have since told TNP that 25-time German champions Bayern will be in town as part of the ICC.
It is understood a formal announcement in Singapore unveiling the teams involved and the tournament's format, has been scheduled for March 16.
In response to TNP's queries, Chin Sau Ho, Sports Hub's senior director, corporate communications and stakeholder engagement, said: "As the premier sporting, lifestyle and entertainment destination in Singapore with a 55,000 capacity stadium capable of hosting a multitude of events including cricket, football, rugby, athletic meets, concerts and community events, we are always in discussion with a variety of event owners, managers and promoters to present quality events and activities at the Singapore Sports Hub for our myriad audience.
"With regard to specific events, however, we are unable to comment on ongoing discussions and/or speculation."
Bayern also took part in the ICC last year, playing Spanish giants Real Madrid and Italian sides AC Milan and Inter Milan in three different locations in the United States.
The ICC, formed in 2013, pits top European teams against one another in matches around the world.
It was originally held in the US and Spain, but has since been expanded to Australia and China.
China welcomed AC Milan, Inter and Real in 2015, and then Borussia Dortmund and the two Manchester clubs - City and United - last year.
The star power of the clubs involved - 17 from seven countries - made the ICC a huge success last year, attracting nearly 800,000 fans to matches and 70 million in viewership.
So far, the only confirmed location for the 2017 ICC is Florida in the US, with the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Real side pencilled to play there.
The Singapore leg of the ICC may not be the only event at the Sports Hub involving world football's superstars in the coming months.
The Straits Times reported earlier this month that sports marketing agency Lagardere Sports was in talks to bring the Argentina national team - of which Lionel Messi is captain - to Singapore for a friendly match in June.
The Argentina squad will play a friendly match against arch-rivals Brazil at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia on June 9, and could make a stopover here before or after their trip to Down Under.