Hong Kong football fans will have to cough up at least 800 yuan or HK$1,000 to be able to watch the first leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between China and Hong Kong on Sept. 3 in Shenzhen, Apple Daily reported on Tuesday.
Only 2,000 tickets to the much-awaited match are available for Hong Kong supporters, according to Brian Leung, chairman of Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA).
It was not clear why Hong Kong was only given a quota of 2,000 tickets, although the venue, the Baoan stadium, could house 40,000 spectators.
Tickets are priced at 1,680 yuan (HK$2,100) and 800 yuan (HK$1,000). The prices for the other tickets have not been disclosed yet.
Hong Kong fans who want to watch the event must purchase tickets online and have their mainland travel permit number ready for identity verification.
Leung was in Beijing last month along with HKFA director Pui Kwan-kay to meet with China Football Association (CFA) chairman Cai Zhenhua to discuss arrangements for the two World Cup qualifier matches in September and November.
Pan-democrat lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung said the CFA is intentionally limiting the number of Hong Kong fans at the stadium.
It is a common practice for the home team to assign only 8 percent of the stadium’s capacity to visitors, which, in this case, should be around 3,200.
Fellow lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai said he does not have a home return permit so he would have to join others in cheering for the Hong Kong team from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong now leads Group C of the Asia division with six points, having clinched two wins out of two matches so far.
China trails Hong Kong in the second position with three points.
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