The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) was fined CHF5,000 (HK$39,678) in relation to incidents that took place during the recent Hong Kong vs. Qatar World Cup Qualifiers match.

FIFA, the international governing body of football, opened disciplinary proceedings against the HKFA in September. FIFA was concerned about a Hong Kong fan throwing a 250-millilitre carton of lemon tea onto the field, which was apparently aimed at Qatar’s player number 10. Its action was also prompted by Hong Kong fans booing the Chinese national anthem.

Hong Kong football fans. Photo: Facebook/Hong Kong Premier League.

The HKFA has been notified by FIFA that “[It] is liable for the improper conduct among the supporters of its team and is therefore in violation of articles 67 par. 1 and 3 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.”

FIFA has also warned the HKFA that any further infringements will lead to more severe sanctions.

The HKFA said in a statement that it “would like to request Hong Kong fans to refrain from such action at all future matches so as to avoid future sanctions.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfe6HWJFJ5o

In the World Cup qualifier match, which Hong Kong lost 2-3 to Qatar on September 8, Hong Kong fans once again jeered at the Chinese national anthem as it was played before the kick-off at Mong Kok Stadium.

It was the third time that fans had done so, following similar scenes at home matches against Bhutan and the Maldives in June.

In July, the Hong Kong Football Association received a warning letter from FIFA stating that it may be penalised if fans booed the anthem again.

The warning sparked worries that Hong Kong may have to play the next home qualifiers game, which would be against China on November 17, behind closed doors.

Hong Kong’s next qualifier is an away game in Bhutan on October 13.

Hong Kong will also play an international friendly match with Myanmar at the Mong Kok Stadium on November 7.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.