Officials clarify Victoria Park bookings

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 March, 2004, 12:00am

Confusion over the booking of Victoria Park's football pitches on July 1, blocking civil rights groups from staging a repeat of last year's mass protest march, has partially been cleared up.

No one has booked the pitches because it is still too early to do so, staff and officials at the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said.

'Impossible. It cannot be booked [until 30 days before],' said a counter clerk who answered the Victoria Park facilities booking hotline.

The Civil Human Rights Front, which organised the rally of 500,000 people that began at the park last year, said last week that it tried in January to book the park for another march on the same day this year.

But park staff told the group that all six football pitches had been reserved, with only the central lawn and the kiosk available.

Department spokeswoman Phylomena Fung Tam Lap-chun confirmed the fields had not been booked yet.

Jackie Hung Ling-yu, spokesman for the Civil Human Rights Front, said last night that the call for universal suffrage would be the main theme of the July 1 march.

She said the Leisure and Cultural Services Department would give them a reply next month on whether they could use the football pitches at Victoria Park.