A number of players from First Division side Happy Valley were taken away by ICAC officers last night after their match against Sunray Cave Sun Hei at Tsing Yi Sports Ground ended in a 5-0 defeat.
Among them were Fan Weijun, Chao Pengfei, Sasa Mus, Darko Bozovic, Wilfred Bamnjo and Lau Ka-shing. Each of them was escorted in separate cars to ICAC headquarters in North Point. Other players were taken to the office in two minibuses.
Of the six, Fan and Chao are from the mainland, while Mus and Bozovic are from Croatia and Bosnia respectively. Bamnjo, a Cameroonian who has played in Hong Kong for more than seven years, is registered as local player.
The ICAC said it would not comment on individual cases.
Happy Valley Athletic Association chairman Pui Kwan-kay said he was informed of the incident but had no further details.
The dramatic move comes days after another top-flight club, Tuen Mun, said it would deregister all its players and sack its mainland sponsor ahead of an inquiry into the way they lost a match in December. That match was heading for a 1-1 draw when Tuen Mun defender Li Ming headed into his own goal in the dying seconds.
Valley and Tuen Mun are the only sides in the 12-team league that are mainly supported by mainland commercial sponsors.