Hong Kong - FIFA has fined Hong Kong after fans jeered the
Chinese national anthem during a crunch World Cup qualifier last year, the
city's football authorities said Thursday, the second penalty in four months
for such an offence.
Hong Kong fans jeered and turned their backs during the
"March of the Volunteers" anthem, which the semi-autonomous territory
shares with China, at a match between the city's side and the Chinese national
team last November that ended in a goalless draw.
They also held up white signs saying "boo" in
English at the city's Mong Kok Stadium, which segregated fans from both teams
using separate entrances and even different toilets in a bid to head off any
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"The Hong Kong Football Association has been fined
10,000 Swiss francs ($9,911) regarding the incident of the booing of the
national anthem by the Hong Kong fans," said a statement published on the
Association's website Thursday, citing a FIFA notification.
"The HKFA is liable for the improper conduct among the
supporters of its team," the statement said, adding that any future
infringements "will lead to harsher sanctions".
The fine is double the amount of a previous fine issued in
October when the HKFA was charged 5,000 Swiss francs after fans again jeered
the Chinese national anthem and threw a drink at a rival player during a
The joint 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers
follows the "Umbrella Movement" pro-democracy protests in 2014, which
gripped the city and underlined discontent with Beijing's rule.
Fans' anger against China was also stoked in June of last
year when a promotional poster used by the China Football Association described
the city's team as "black skinned, white skinned and yellow skinned,"
which Hong Kong supporters criticised as racist.
China's perennially underachieving national team sacked its
national coach Alain Perrin last Friday after a disappointing run of results
left their World Cup qualifying campaign hanging by a thread.For
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