Last week, Chelsea confirmed a fifth straight season of participation in the summer money-making exercise known as the International Champions Cup, which has expanded from a few games in the United States to include four continents (America, Asia, Australia, Europe) and many more countries and venues. Chelsea will join 17 other teams in this globe-trotting sideshow, and that’s despite an already constrained off-season thanks to the World Cup and the shortened transfer window.
As per the official launch event on Friday, the 18 total teams will be distributed among 20 different venues, with the official schedule set to be announced in a few days.
Official: 18 teams will compete in the ICC this summer – these are the locations.— Barca Centre (@barcacentre) April 13, 2018
17 teams have been announced. At the moment, it seems like Barça will be the final team announced on April 17. pic.twitter.com/xEOG5pOeo9
But apparently ESPN have jumped the gun and briefly revealed at least part of the schedule. It’s not clear if the whole schedule was spoiled before they realized their error, but at least Chelsea’s apparently was. According to various social media sleuths, including this post on the Chelsea subreddit, Chelsea’s schedule will include a game in Singapore and two games in Sweden.
- July 28, Singapore: Chelsea vs. Sevilla
- August 1, Gothenburg: Chelsea vs. Internazionale
- August 4, Stockholm: Arsenal vs. Chelsea
Perhaps the biggest reason to doubt this leak (maybe they were just testing the app or the schedule?) is that two of the three opponents are exactly the same as last summer’s (Inter & Arsenal) and Chelsea were in Singapore last summer, too. The idea of the ICC and such summer games is to vary up the locations and teams to spread the marketing reach as far as possible.
Chelsea’s visit to Singapore however does make sense as the Blues are already confirmed to play a friendly in Perth, Australia on July 23. Keeping Chelsea closer to home with European matches before the start of the Premier League season also makes sense, even if it does mean a second straight summer of no Chelsea visit to the United States.
As per the leak, the ICC schedule for the USA does include both Manchesters, Liverpool, and Spurs as well as a host of big European names.