SJM makes match with Portugal-Macau

Portuguese football stars head to Macau for five-a-side friendly with Greater Bay Area team to celebrate 25 years since SAR’s founding

TICKETS went on sale this week for a soccer friendly featuring stars from Portugal in a match to celebrate 25 years since the founding of the Macau Special Administrative Region of China.

The Portugal Icons versus GBA Flying Dragons is scheduled to kick off on May 19 at the Macau East Asian Games Dome.

Resort operator SJM is backing the event, which is jointly organised by the Sports Bureau of the Macau SAR Government with technical support from Macau Football Association.

Macau Sports Bureau president Pun Weng Kun (middle); Daisy Ho, of SJM (second left); Lai Pak Leng, Macau Football Association (second right); Natalis Chan (first left) and Chan Chi Hong (first right)

Portuguese stars lined up for the five-a-side game include Luis Figo, Pauleta, Nuno Gomes, Dimas, Maniche, Bosingwa, Tiago, Helder Postiga, and Ricardo Quaresma. They face a team drawn from top Greater Bay Area footballers including Leslie George Santos, Wong Chin Hung, Chan Tat Sun, Geofredo Cheung, Wu Qunli, Hu Zhijun and Lu Lin.

A press conference held at Grand Lisboa Palace Resort Macau on Monday heard that the event would also demonstrate the “sports and tourism dynamism” of Macau.

Daisy Ho, managing director of SJM, said: “On the joyous occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Macau SAR and the 45th anniversary of Sino- Portuguese diplomatic relations, we leverage Macau’s pivotal role as a cultural nexus between China and Portugal to bring about this friendly match and celebrate the silver jubilee of the Macau SAR.

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“SJM has always attached great importance to the development of sports culture in Macau. In addition to promoting a variety of sports activities, we will continue to leverage ‘Sports + Tourism’ to enrich the SAR’s tourism landscape and facilitate the diversified development of our tourism and leisure industry, to bolster our reputation as a ‘City of Sports,’ and to attract more overseas visitors to Macau.”

Pun Weng Kun, president of the Sports Bureau of the Macau SAR Government, added: “With the city’s festive atmosphere, this event will further strengthen the connections and exchanges in the realm of sports among Macau, the Greater Bay Area, and Portugal.

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“By building a cooperation platform through large-scale sports events and collaborative sports exchange activities, the goal is to promote the development of the sports industry, leverage the synergies of major sports events, stimulate the growth of Macau’s sports industry, and drive economic development in sports tourism and related sectors.”

SJM will host a variety of fun, soccer-related activities at the outdoor plaza of the Ponte 16 Resort in the build-up to the “SJM Five-a-side Football Friendly: Portugal Icons vs. GBA Flying Dragons” match.

Main picture: Natalis Chan and Chan Chi Hong share their views at the Grand Palace Lisboa press conference on the upcoming match

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