The Blues return to Asia as part of their 2019-20 pre-season

Chelsea Football Club today announced their first game of the 2019-2020 pre-season as they will play Kawasaki Frontale, the reigning (and back-to-back) J.League champions, in a friendly at the nearby International Stadium in Yokohama, on July 19th.

Photo Source: The Japan Times

For those who remember, Chelsea’s last visit to Japan saw them finish runners-up in the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup after losing 1-0 to Brazilian side Corinthians in the Final, having beaten Mexicans Monterrey 3-1 in the Semi-Final. Both those matches took place at the same stadium the club will visit this coming summer, which has a capacity of over 70,000.

The venue also hosted the 2002 World Cup final, in which Brazil beat Germany, and will also be used to stage the 2019 Rugby Union World Cup Final.

“We are very pleased to be able to confirm the details of this first match we have announced in our pre-season schedule, with more dates to come in the forthcoming weeks. It is going to be an exciting summer for the club and we are looking forward to working closely with our valued partners at The Yokohama Rubber Company to make this a visit to remember.
“We are delighted to be returning to Japan after almost seven years and we also thank the J.League for their cooperation in organising the game. We are sure Kawasaki Frontale will provide high-level opposition at a noisy and passionate International Stadium as we prepare for the season ahead.”

– Bruce Buck

This friendly – which will officially be called the MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE WORLD CHALLENGE 2019 – is seen as a friendly to celebrate the close partnership with principal partner Yokohama Tyres.

Mr Mitsuru Murai, chairman of the J.League said that the friendly ‘will be a good occasion to promote international exchanges and deepen friendship, and we are looking forward to seeing the stadium filled with enthusiastic fans this summer.’

The Blues now have two games confirmed for the summer, including the 2018-19 post-season, charity friendly against New England Revolution, which takes place in Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA on 15th May 2019.

Terry Sazio