Disregarding warnings from their team’s governing body (HKFA), Hong Kong fans boo the Chinese National Anthem at Tuesday’s 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup joint qualifiers goalless draw against China.
The home fans jeered the ‘March of the Volunteers’ anthem, which the semi-autonomous territory shares with its giant neighbour, while some turned their backs and held up signs saying ‘Boo’.
Not only that, they also swore at the visiting Chinese supporters during the game and showed them their middle fingers in a rowdy start to proceedings at the sold-out 6,000-seat Mong Kok Stadium.
It was their second action after they did the similar action in the previous three home matches against Bhutan, Maldives and Qatar which led FIFA to warn and fine the HKFA.
“Because we don’t like the Chinese national anthem, we have to go against it,” Hong Kong student Jerry Wong, 20, told AFP. “Because Hong Kong is not part of China, I don’t feel like I am Chinese.”
On the other side, Chinese supporter and government worker Fan Yufeng, 33, understood that the spectators who showed anti-China feelings did not speak for all of Hong Kong.
“They only represent a small portion of Hong Kong,” he claimed, after crossing the border to watch the game.
The draw leaves China are now seven points behind group leaders Qatar and three adrift of Hong Kong in second, with two games remaining in the second round of qualification.