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 Sports

‘Battle of the Reds’ at Likas Stadium in November

19th September, 2019

By UMESH RAJAN

KOTA KINABALU: Liverpool (LFC) and Manchester United (MUFC) fans are in for a big treat as the Battle of the Reds is scheduled to take place in Sabah for the first time, in November.

The exhibition match organised by event company Firm Horizon Sdn Bhd, together with Masters Football Asia, will feature 32 former players from both clubs as they fight it out at the Likas Stadium, here on November 20.

During a press conference on Wednesday at the Marriott Hotel, here, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew, said she is optimistic that the show match will provide a huge boost to the sports tourism segment in the State.

“The Legends’ tour to Sabah will inevitably hit a large segment of the local, national, regional, and international audiences, and also those football fans who have not heard about Sabah before.

“Sabah has the highest number of Manchester United and Liverpool fans in the whole of Malaysia which will definitely make this event a huge success,” said Liew who is also the State Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister.

Meanwhile, Masters Football Asia Director Ian Holahan expressed that football is greatly enjoyed by the community which presents a great opportunity for families to come together and celebrate while enjoying a beautiful game.

“Form is temporary but it is said that class is permanent, and plenty of class will be on display at the Battle of the Reds.

“We are delighted to bring these football giants to Kota Kinabalu. I hope the fans, old and young alike, will continue to show their support,” he said during the launching ceremony.

Masters Football Asia brings ex-professional players from various football clubs for fans around the globe to get up close and watch them play live.

Kicking off the football fever, “The Battle of the Reds” extravaganza and football festival will begin on Nov 16 with a slew of on-ground activities and events.

Fans will be able to be part of the excitement and even catch a glimpse of their favourite football icons during the days leading up to the big match.

Firm Horizon Sdn Bhd Managing Director Raymond Fang, said in his speech: “When we started our event and marketing company back in 2012, our ultimate aim was to bring big international standard events to Sabah.

“We strongly feel that we can showcase to others that Sabah can be a suitable venue for events as mentioned above to boost its sports tourism sector and help to bring in huge economic impact to the State.

He added that the football legends are not only coming over to play the exhibition match but also taking part in a number of community service programmes.

“Together with Masters Football Asia, we have planned a few programmes for the players to take part in, namely visiting local football academies, primary schools for football lessons as well as attending a fundraising dinner and sponsors activities.

“Our main goal is to get the football legends interacting with the people of Sabah during their stay here, which is why we have planned these programmes,” he said.

Liverpool Reds is expected to field Jason McAteer, Steve McManaman, Peter Crouch, Emile Heskey, David James, Jari Litmanen, John Arne Riise, Dietmar Hamann and Danny Murphy to name a few for the exhibition match.

While for the Manchester Reds, Teddy Sheringham is expected to play alongside veterans, Ronny Johnsen, Mikael Silvestre, Clayton Blackmore, and Keith Gillespie as well as debutantes Ben Thornley, Paul Rachubka and Wes Brown.

Also present at the launching ceremony were State Youth and Sports Minister Phoong Jin Zhe, Sabah Sports Board Chairman Dr. K.H Tan, former players John Arne Riise (Liverpool) and Ronny Johnsen (Man Utd).

Tickets for the exhibition match are priced at RM150, RM280, RM380 and RM900, and only 14,600 tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To purchase the match tickets, head to Masters Football Asia official store on Shopee at https://shopee.com.my/m/mfa where the tickets will be up for sale soon.

   
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