Elderly fans who were upset at failing to purchase tickets to the Hong Kong v China World Cup qualifier attempted to break into the Mong Kok stadium in outrage, after the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) announced at 12:32pm on Wednesday that tickets were sold out. Meanwhile, another senior citizen who was waiting in line fainted and had to be sent to the hospital.

Tickets to the match, which will be held in two weeks on November 17, went on sale at 10am on Wednesday and were sold out in under three hours. 2,000 standard tickets, which were sold at HK$150 each, were made available online via Cityline ticketing, but many had been unable to access the website. Those who successfully purchased tickets online can pick them up at the Mong Kok stadium starting next Monday and will have to bring Hong Kong identity cards with them.

Many fans camped outside the stadium overnight for tickets. Photo: Resistance Live via Facebook.

Outside the Mong Kok stadium, where the match will be held, around 500 local fans queued up to purchase concessionary senior citizen and student tickets. Many had camped outside the stadium overnight for tickets while a senior citizen who apparently skipped breakfast to line up fainted and had to be sent to the hospital, TVB reported. The queue ran all the way up to near Boundary Street and police officers were on the scene to maintain order.

A senior citizen fell over and had to be sent to the hospital. Photo: Stand News.

After news broke that tickets were sold out, an elderly football fan, who said he was no. 268 in queue, appeared outraged and attempted to break into the stadium along with several others. He said that it was impossible that he could not get a ticket, since there were 1,000 tickets and each person was only allowed to purchase two. However, the HKFA explained that online sales and physical ticketing sales took place at the same time and that it had never guaranteed that there would be 1,000 tickets for physical sale. 586 tickets were sold at the stadium while others were all sold online.

Elderly fans at the door of the stadium.

A university student, who was first in line, had been queuing since 3pm on Tuesday because he wanted to see the match live and support the Hong Kong team in person, Commercial Radio reported. Another student said that he had skipped class to purchase tickets, but because he had woken up late and only arrived at around eight in the morning, he was not optimistic about getting tickets.

A university student holds up two tickets in triumph. Photo: Now TV.

Earlier in October, the HKFA announced that football fans will be barred from bringing paper juice cartons into Mong Kok Stadium during the match, following an incident at the Hong Kong-Qatar match on September 8 in which a spectator threw a 250-millilitre carton of lemon tea onto the field. At that same match, Hong Kong fans also booed the Chinese national anthem for the third time, despite having been previously warned not to do so by FIFA. The actions resulted in a HK$40k fine.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.