Deciders to kick off at same time

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 12:00am

Tonight's two title-deciding matches will be held at different venues and kick off at the same time, the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) decided last night.

At an emergency meeting of the HKFA last night, attended by the four clubs involved, it was resolved that tonight's Coolpoint First Division league double-header would be split up.

Originally, both matches were to be played at Mongkok Stadium, at 6pm and 8pm.

The match between Sun Hei and Fukien will move to Siu Sai Wan Stadium in Chai Wan, while Happy Valley and Kitchee will meet at the Mongkok Stadium as scheduled.

Both matches start at 8pm.

'The request was made by Sun Hei and agreed by the three other clubs,' said Martin Lam, secretary-general of the HKFA. 'We will therefore sort out the required logistics as quickly as possible so that we can have the two matches at two different stadiums.'

The sudden change of venue and kick-off time came after Sun Hei's crucial 2-1 win over Valley on Sunday. The result has re-vitalised Sun Hei's hopes of retaining the title as both teams are now on 31 points from 15 matches.

Although Valley are holding an advantage through a better goal difference (six), Sun Hei are not without a chance as their opposition tonight, Fukien, are far weaker than Valley's rivals, Kitchee.

'Since the results of the two matches are so important, a team should not be given the opportunity to start their own match after knowing the result of the other,' said Sun Hei team manager Vincent Chow Man-leung last night. 'That's why we made such a request and I am delighted that they have accepted it.'

Chow said Sun Hei would be going all out for a victory tonight and hoped Kitchee could hold off Valley so that they could win the title.