Stadium to show China Cup games for free

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 June, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 June, 2002, 12:00am

Hong Kong football fans without Cable TV will be able to watch China's next two group games at the Hong Kong Stadium for free under a deal struck between the Government and the broadcaster, it was announced last night.

Tournament debutants China will play what could prove to be their last two games in the World Cup finals against Brazil on Saturday and Turkey on June 13.

Broadcasting rights for the World Cup in Hong Kong are exclusively held by pay-TV station Cable TV and large numbers of fans have no access to Cable.

The stadium will open for the Brazil game on Saturday at 6.30pm. The match kicks off at 7.30pm.

On June 13, it will open at 1pm for the Turkey match, which starts at 2.30pm.

Smoking at the stadium for both matches will be banned.

'Since it will be inconvenient to watch the Diamond Vision Screen from seats on the south side of the stadium, only about 30,000 fans can be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis,' a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said last night.

The stadium has a giant screen at the back of the South Stand and has a 40,000 capacity.

Under the terms of the deal, the Government is not required to pay Cable TV for organising the stadium screening.

The Government made the screening arrangement after an outcry from non-Cable TV subscribers that they have been deprived of the opportunity to watch the matches.