With only two games scheduled for Liverpool's upcoming pre-season tour and room for a third to be squeezed in around visits to Melbourne and Bangkok, there had been speculation a third destination would be revealed before the end of the season as fans in Oceania and Southeast Asia wondered if and where the club might make another stop in the region.
Now, though, while Liverpool will indeed be visiting another city a few thousand miles removed from the Mersey before the start of the next season, it won't be as part of the 2013 pre-season tour. Instead, the club has today revealed that less than 24 hours after the final game of the current campaign against QPR they will be flying off to Cape Town.
It will mark their first trip to South Africa in nearly two decades, and while locals will relish the chance to see Liverpool play in a friendly against Ajax Cape Town on Tuesday the 21st, those without the opportunity to attend the match will likely spend most of the time scratching their heads at a post-season friendly mere days after the close of the current season.
"It will be fantastic for the club to return to South Africa after almost 20 years," said Billy Hogan, who—rather tellingly when it comes to the motivation behind a post-season friendly three days after the final game of the season—is the club's chief commercial officer. "We know we have a large fanbase in South Africa which is rapidly growing. In the last eight months the number of South African fans visiting the club's website has doubled.
"This visit is part of our off-season activity and shows our commitment to bringing the club closer to our fans all over the globe, no matter how far away from Anfield they may live."
Blatant cash grab or not, those close enough to head to the match likely won't be complaining too much. The rest of us will try to keep our grumbling to a minimum—at least until the vuvuzelas start blasting.
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