Wrong choice for Happy Hong Kong football team

April 26, 2023 13:07
Image: Hong Kong Government

One of the most memorable events about the celebration of the end of SARS was the Real Madrid visit.

The so-called six aces era with French Zidane, Brazilian Ronaldo and Carlos, England’s Beckham, Portuguese Figo and Spanish Raul turned the local football fans into a frenzy at the Hong Kong stadium on 8 August 2003.

Now fast forward 20 years, and look who are coming to town for Happy Hong Kong?

Manchester United U16 squad is flying in to play two friendly matches against local elites.

So much for the excitement of the Happy Hong Kong campaign, which also include HK$30 movie tickets on Saturday that signifies the government’s initiative to bring back the good old days for the general public!

Even the magical Manchester United U16 team, the cradle for David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and the Neville brothers, could reproduce another classic 92 team, one cannot stop missing the Real Madrid presence that really cheered up Hong Kong that summer.

Still, U16, while being the lowest of the four youth troops in the mighty Manchester United, could serve as an inspiration for local teenagers.

Nonetheless, the main purpose of the campaign is to cheer up Hong Kong, but the government invited only U16, not other bigger names so it might fail to achieve its goal of uniting Hongkongers.

Just count how many Hong Kong people are rooting for Arsenal and even more people are spending weekends in watching English Premier League and you will get the picture.

By the way, has the SAR government forgotten that President Xi is a fan of Manchester City, not Manchester United?

Perhaps the government would need to hold the purse strings in case the economic recovery is slower than expected (which seems to be the case three months after the reopening).

It is indeed hard to bring back a strong recovery as seen in the post-SARS period given the pandemic lasted three years, compared to only three months for SARS.

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EJ Insight writer