Date
19 August 2017
Occupy Central supporters hold up umbrellas as China's national anthem is played at a friendly soccer match between Hong Kong and Argentina in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters
Occupy Central supporters hold up umbrellas as China's national anthem is played at a friendly soccer match between Hong Kong and Argentina in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

Umbrellas replace pong pong sticks at HK football match

With the pro-democracy protests continuing in Hong Kong, some members of the public are using every available opportunity to show their support for the demonstrators and disapproval of Beijing.

Even a friendly football match between Hong Kong and Argentina Tuesday night came in handy to send a message to the authorities, Ming Pao Daily News reported Wednesday.

Some match-goers were seen turning their back against the China flag when the national anthem was played before the match, while raising their umbrellas and sign boards bearing protest messages, the report said.

Right after the national anthem, the crowd sang “Under a Vast Sky”, a monster ballad from the early ’90s from popular band Beyond. The song is now considered to be the unofficial anthem for the current pro-democracy protests in the city.

Protestors were hoping that the messages will reach the world through live television coverage of the football match, which was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the Hong Kong Football Association.

On September 30, when local league champions Kitchee F.C. hosted Kuwaiti champions Erbil in the semi-finals of the AFC Cup 2014, spectators engaged in a minute of hand-clapping when the match was 9 minutes 28 seconds underway, in order to show support to the Occupy Central protests, which commenced on September 28.

Some match-goers were seen wearing yellow ribbons and bringing umbrellas into the stadium.

Umbrellas have become a symbol of the protests as demonstrators have used them to protect themselves against pepper spray and tear gas from police.

A football fan from Guangzhou who attended Tuesday’s match in Hong Kong said he can understand the people’s show of protest and can accept the action. Every one has freedom to live life his own way, as long as he doesn’t disturb others, he was quoted as saying.

The protests came after security guards were seen confiscating posters depicting a yellow umbrella outside the stadium. The posters had been handed out by the Democratic Party.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

EL/AC/RC

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