The chairman of the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) says he cannot attend the Hong Kong versus Maldives World Cup Qualifier match on Thursday, as he is busy planning a class reunion.

“This week I am busy planning the 50th anniversary class reunion event with my secondary school classmates, they are coming back from all around the world, so I have to stay,” Brian Leung Hung-tak said on a Commercial Radio programme on Monday.

Brian Leung Hung-tak. File

FIFA, football’s international governing body, decided last Friday that the match to be held in Male on November 12 would go ahead despite the state of emergency declared in the country. HKFA had previously appealed to FIFA to move the match to Mong Kok Stadium instead.

During the radio programme, Leung said that HKFA has bought insurance policies for footballers and staff, but he was not sure if the policies covered events like riots.

He added that FIFA also has insurance policies covering the footballers.

The Hong Kong national team boarded the plane to Maldives on Monday. Photo: Facebook/Hong Kong Premier League.

The Hong Kong government issued an amber travel warning for the country, advising those who plan to visit the island nation to monitor the situation, exercise caution and avoid travelling to places where the protests are, particularly the capital.

Security for security Lai Tung-kwok said on Sunday that the Security Bureau will provide assistance to HKFA if necessary.

The match was originally scheduled on 12:00am Friday Hong Kong time, but it was moved to 6:50pm Thursday due to security concerns.

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.