HKFA seeking support to prove smaller is better

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 12:00am

The reformation of the Hong Kong Football Association will take place this evening at its premises in Ho Man Tin. At an extraordinary general meeting, members will vote for a new constitution that will streamline the administration and management of one of the oldest sporting bodies in town.

After 80 years of unwieldy politics, the HKFA will today attempt to cut its decision-making body by more than 50 per cent. The idea is to reduce the existing 25-strong council and set up a 12-member board of directors that would also include outside representation from the Government and the Hong Kong Olympic Committee.

'The present set-up is too big and has too many interested parties. We have to cope with modern management structures. A reduction in numbers would be the right move,' said Martin Lam, HKFA secretary.

The move would also go a long way to wiping out partisan club politics which many long-term observers say has been detrimental to the local game. The initiative is part of an attempt to revive Hong Kong soccer which this past season has seen a 38 per cent drop in crowd attendance - the lowest on record - and the pull-out of Instant-Dict and Yee Hope from the First Division.

This is not the first time the HKFA have tried to re-structure. The resolution was first brought up in June at an EGM but it came up short of the two-thirds majority. The association, needing 78 of the 119 available votes, came up with only 72.

'It was turned down last time because some members were unhappy at the idea that a representative of the Hong Kong Ladies' Football Association would be ensured an automatic berth on the new board of directors. They said it was not fair,' explained Lam.

The HKFA have dropped this now. The new proposal is that the 12 directors will comprise of a chairman and four other directors - all elected by the 47-strong members of the HKFA - three directors representing the First Division, Second Division and Third Division, and four directors representing the Home Affairs Bureau, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Education Department and the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee.

'The majority of the clubs want to see this happen. If this resolution is passed, then in three weeks time we will have our annual general meeting where a new streamlined board will be elected,' said Lam on the eve of a reformation that the HKFA hopes will paint a new era for Hong Kong soccer.