HKFA fined as local fans boo national anthem

By Lu Wenao Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/9 23:43:40

A father plays football with his boys on Father's Day in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Sunday. Photo: VCG

FIFA, the world football governing body, fined the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) on Wednesday after local fans booed the Chinese national anthem at a 2022 World Cup qualifier against Iran last month.

The disciplinary commission of FIFA handed the HKFA a fine of 15,000 Swiss francs ($15,187), saying there was "disturbance during national anthems" and "use of objects to transmit a message that is not appropriate for sports events."

Hong Kong lost the game to Asia's No.1 Iran 2-0 at home. 

The team visits Iraq on Wednesday and its next competitive game at home is against Bahrain on November 14, followed by another World Cup qualifier against Cambodia five days later. 

The Hong Kong team was originally scheduled to play a friendly against Malaysia on October 15, but the Malaysians were reluctant to go to the city amid riots and vandalism. The friendly was canceled last month.

The violent protests have disrupted a series of sporting events in Hong Kong. 

The WTA Hong Kong Tennis Open, which was originally scheduled to be played from October 5 to 13, was postponed indefinitely, and the Hong Kong Formula E race in March 2020 has been canceled.

Newspaper headline: FIFA fines HKFA after local fans boo Chinese national anthem

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