Hong Kong football fans will need to submit details of their home return permits before being able to purchase a ticket for the Hong Kong v China match in Shenzhen on September 3.
Brian Leung Hung-tak, chairman of Hong Kong Football Association, confirmed after meeting with the Chinese Football Association that Hong Kong home return permit serial numbers will be required before purchasing tickets. The serial number will act as confirmation of the ticket holder’s identity. In addition, the Chinese Football Association’s online portal will be the official channel for fans to purchase match tickets.
The 2018 World Cup qualifiers between China and Hong Kong is set to take place on September 3 in Shenzhen’s Bao’an Stadium.
While the stadium holds 40,000, only 2,000 tickets are available for Hong Kong fans to purchase.
Two types of tickets announced are at RMB800 (HKD1,000) and RMB1,680 (HKD2,100). It is not clear when sales of the tickets would begin or if there would be a limit on the number of tickets a single person can buy.
The home return permit is the document for Hong Kong permanent residents with Chinese nationality to travel to China. The permit could only be applied at the China Travel Service, the official travel agency of Chinese government in Hong Kong, and applications are processed by the Guangdong Province Public Security Bureau.
This arrangement may bar Hong Kong fans with foreign nationalities from buying tickets for the match in Shenzhen, as they are not eligible to apply for the permit.
Hong Kong’s national football team secured two wins against Bhutan and the Maldives in June, three points ahead of China in the group, with one more match played.
Hong Kong Football Association later received a warning letter from FIFA, the international football governing body, on fans booing the Chinese national anthem at both matches.