Tottenham Hotspur date for Singapore

Tottenham players like Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Son Heung-min are expected to be in Singapore as part of their pre-season tour in July. The London side last visited the Republic in 1995.
Tottenham players like Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Son Heung-min are expected to be in Singapore as part of their pre-season tour in July. The London side last visited the Republic in 1995.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

EPL club pledge to 'engage fans' when they visit the Republic as part of Asia tour in July

A Hurri-Kane will hit Singapore shores in July as English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur announced yesterday that their first team, headlined by England captain Harry Kane, will visit the Republic as part of their pre-season tour.

While the 25-year-old striker is currently nursing an ankle injury, he could return at the end of this month to boost third-placed Spurs' title hopes. They are five points behind Manchester City and Liverpool.

Besides Kane, other Spurs stars expected to feature prominently are France's World Cup-winning skipper and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, England midfielder Dele Alli and South Korean sensation Son Heung-min.

Tottenham said in a statement yesterday: "We are delighted to announce that the first-team squad will travel to Singapore and Shanghai as part of our pre-season tour in July in preparation for the 2019-20 season.

"The tour will also enable us to join in the Centennial celebrations of our Global Principal Partner, AIA, whose roots trace back to Shanghai in 1919.

"The visit also affords the club the opportunity to engage with our millions of fans across Asia including Official Supporters Clubs in both countries in which we will be playing fixtures."

Spurs are set to be among the four teams - one more than the last two years - who are pencilled in for the International Champions Cup (ICC) at the National Stadium in July.

Premier League giants Manchester United are also all but confirmed for the tournament, while negotiations are ongoing to add Italy's Juventus and Inter Milan to the line-up.

The ICC is set to be held over the July 19-21 weekend, with just two games instead of the previous three.

Although the fixtures will be confirmed only on March 27, the weekend scheduling should attract more fans to the National Stadium.

Spurs last visited Singapore in 1995 when they lost 4-2 on penalties to the Lions after a 1-1 draw.

Tours to Asia are not new to the London side as they were also in Beijing for the 2009 Premier League Asia Trophy and Hong Kong for the 2013 edition. They also played in Malaysia in 2015 and Hong Kong in 2017.

Die-hard Spurs fan Fabius Chen, a 33-year-old public servant, said: "I was there as a kid in 1995 and it was the first time I watched them in person. My favourite player at the time was Darren Anderton and I have never forgotten Singapore goalkeeper David Lee saving his spot-kick in the shoot-out.

"I'll be there again in July because as a fan from Singapore, chances to see the team live are few and far between.

"I hope manager Mauricio Pochettino and defender Toby Alderweireld will still be at the club then.

"I'm also looking forward to seeing a few new faces who can hopefully take the team further next season, a couple of future stars like striker Troy Parrott, and definitely a better result than the last time they were here."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'Spurs date for S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe