Hong Kong Fans Warned To Behave In China

September 2, 2015

NewsStandOnline.Net (2-September-2015): Hong Kong fans were today urged to respect “fair play” in their politically charged World Cup qualifier against China, which follows a rise in tensions and coincides with a key war anniversary.

The match is attracting attention among a busy fixture list tomorrow, when Japan will look for their first win under coach Vahid Halilhodzic and a mutinous Australia take on Bangladesh.

Hong Kong’s supporters will make the short trip across the mainland Chinese border to Shenzhen, with officials fearing more booing of the national anthem they share with China.

Hong Kong Fans Warned To Behave In China

Last year’s “Umbrella Movement” mass pro-democracy protests pointed to a souring of attitudes in the semi-autonomous territory towards the central government in Beijing.

Hong Kong fans have been rapped by Fifa for booing the anthem, “March of the Volunteers”, during home games earlier this year.

Their supporters have also hit out at their allocation of just 2,200 tickets out of 27,000 sold for Thursday’s game, Hong Kong media reported.

The Hong Kong Football Association has called “for local fans to respect fair play in all World Cup qualifying matches”, an official said.

He added: “Respect for the principles of fair play should apply to every match.”

National feeling will run high on both sides as the game coincides with the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.

“Match day happens to be the 70th anniversary of the victory over Japan in the second world war,” said HKFA chairman Brian Leung.

“There will also be an army parade in Beijing and other commemorative celebrations all over the country. The Chinese government won’t allow any trouble.”