Date
14 December 2017
Hong Kong fans hold banners that read "Hong Kong is not China" and "Boo" signs during the World Cup qualifier on Nov. 17. Photo: Reuters
Hong Kong fans hold banners that read "Hong Kong is not China" and "Boo" signs during the World Cup qualifier on Nov. 17. Photo: Reuters

HKFA fined 10,000 Swiss francs after fans boo China anthem

The Hong Kong Football Association urged local football fans not to misbehave during matches after it was fined 10,000 Swiss francs (US$9,960 or HK$77,620) for repeated violations of the FIFA disciplinary code.

Further punishments by FIFA would harm the association’s finances, which could lead to the postponement of some its matches and projects, HKFA chairman Brian Leung Hung-tak told Apple Daily in a telephone interview.

On Nov. 17, local football fans were seen holding “BOO” signs and booing while China’s national anthem was played before the kickoff of the match between Hong Kong and Chinese teams at the Mong Kok Stadium for the qualifying round of the 2018 World Cup.

In a press release, the HKFA said the association has to shoulder the responsibility for the inappropriate behavior of Hong Kong fans, which constituted a violation of sections 1 and 3 of article 67 of the FIFA disciplinary code.

It was the second punishment imposed by FIFA on the Hong Kong team.

The HKFA paid 5,000 Swiss francs to FIFA last October after fans booed the playing of the Chinese national anthem and threw a packet of drinks at players during a World Cup qualifier between Hong Kong and Qatar on Sept. 8.

Edmund Fung, a spokesman for The Power of Hong Kong, a group of local football fans, said they will refrain from doing anything that will discredit the team.

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DY/JP/CG

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