- Barca expected to play in Vietnam in 2017: bank chairman14:12 | 06/03/2016
Barcelona, one of the world’s most prominent football clubs, is anticipated to pay a visit to Vietnam next year, following an invitation from a local bank, an executive of the lender has affirmed.
A cooperation agreement is scheduled to be signed between FC Barcelona and the Saigon Hanoi Commercial Bank (SHB) on March 8 in the Vietnamese capital, Do Quang Hien, chairman of the bank, said at a press meeting on Wednesday.
The Vietnamese lender has also invited the Spanish football club to come to the Southeast Asian country, Hien said.
If everything goes as planned, there is a high possibility that local fans will have the opportunity to see their favorite players showcase their flair in Vietnam in 2017, the chairman added.
Following the successful collaboration with British football club Manchester City, as well as the team’s friendly match with Vietnamese players in 2015, SHB has studied and analyzed ways to expand its partnership with Barcelona, according to Hien.
Manchester City beat the Vietnamese national football team 8-1 in a friendly in Hanoi on July 27 last year, with the game organized thanks to sponsorship from SHB.
It took SHB and Barcelona about a year to reach an agreement on promoting the image of the football club in Vietnam as well as introducing the bank to Barcelona fans across the globe, Hien said, adding that the La Liga giants have a significant impact on the international community because of billions of supporters.
Barcelona are targeting the Asian market, including Vietnam, and have chosen SHB, a reputable institution in finance and banking in the country, to be their business partner.
Given all the achievements SHB has helped Vietnamese football accomplish, Barcelona have expressed their excitement when working with the bank, according to Hien.
“The cooperation with Barcelona will bring SHB closer to other international financial establishments, part of the bank’s developmental strategy to work with its foreign counterparts, primarily in Europe and the U.S.,” he said.
The chairman said that he was informed, during his recent meeting with Barcelona’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu, that the Spanish club would prioritize Vietnam when they have plans to play exhibition games in Asia.
Upon the signing of the agreement, SHB will be allowed to sell Barcelona’s products in the Vietnamese market, including scarves, hats, souvenirs, and others.
In terms of cooperation in football, Barcelona will run training courses for children, at a cost of €500,000 (US$543,000) to €700,000 ($760,000) per annum, as well as programs for football managers in Vietnam, according to Hien.
He added that SHB would certainly have to pay a lot to invite Barcelona stars to Vietnam and the football club would set high standards and strict requirements as well.
SHB, founded on November 12, 1993, currently has 400 branches and transaction offices countrywide, together with two other branches in Cambodia and Laos, with total assets worth over VND143,000 trillion ($6.4 trillion), it said on its website.
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