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Hong Kong welcome Premiership global round

Hong Kong Football Association chairman Brian Leung has revealed that the former British colony is "very interested" in staging Barclays Premier League games in the future.

The Premier League last week announced plans to extend the domestic season to 39 games by holding an additional 'international round' of fixtures from the 2010-11 season.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed bin Hammam are opposed to the proposal, with the latter urging AFC member associations to "protect their own national leagues and clubs within their territories".

Leung, however, insists Hong Kong is prepared to host English league fixtures, with the success of July's Asia Trophy - a tournament that saw Liverpool, Fulham and Portsmouth compete in front of sell-out crowds - still fresh in the memory.

"The Hong Kong Football Association would be very interested (in staging games)," Leung said.

"We have already sent an e-mail to (Premier League chief executive) Richard Scudamore expressing our interest.

Hong Kong's NowTV recently paid £100milion for a three-year deal to broadcast Premier League matches, and Leung believes the mood is right in the city to play host to the biggest clubs in the English game.

"As there would be five cities, it would be guaranteed that there would be a big club coming to Hong Kong," Leung continued.

"I have spoken to fans in Hong Kong and people in the Hong Kong government and they are very interested, as they want Hong Kong to be a global city.

"I do not think it would affect the local league, I think it would increase interest."

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Tribal Football Staff

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