Hong Kong's World Cup qualifier moved to Bali

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, 12:00am

Hong Kong will have to play East Timor in Bali after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) rejected a proposal to move the World Cup qualifying match to Hong Kong.

Originally, Hong Kong wanted the away leg moved here because of difficulties with travel arrangements. But this compromise will see the match played on neutral territory.

The SAR side are scheduled to meet the Timorese in Bali on October 18 and then play the home leg on October 28 in their first outing of the regional qualifying campaign for the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

'We had problems getting air tickets and have requested to play both matches in Hong Kong in late October,' said Lam Shing-kui, acting general secretary of the HKFA. 'But the AFC replied saying the home-and-away format must be upheld and have therefore rejected our request.'

Meanwhile, First Division club Eastern yesterday revealed their major commercial sponsors for the new season, with a deal worth an estimated HK$6 million.

'This is a good sign of more commitment from the business community to football,' said manager Peter Leung Shou-chi. 'But we must play good football on the pitch or no one will come next season.'

Eastern are bottom of the table.

South China had earlier announced that they received a total sponsorship of over HK$10 million for this season.