Champions Germany may help Hong Kong soccer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 4:15am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 9:27am

World Cup winners Germany may supply top-tier soccer coaches to help transform the sport in Hong Kong.

The German consulate has offered to put the Hong Kong Football Association in touch with German soccer chiefs. A supply of coaches could follow.

The HKFA's vision for the future, "Aiming High - Together" includes efforts to alter the association's approach to soccer modelled on Germany's successful overhaul, which culminated in Monday morning's victory over Argentina in Rio.

"Maybe they would want to look at Germany and see how they've been doing it," German consul general Nikolaus Graf Lambsdorff said. "At the very least I could connect the HKFA with the German FA."

The diplomat said his country's World Cup success stemmed from an overhaul of the game in the wake of an early exit from Euro 2000.

The 59-year-old believed Germany's track record at grass-roots level could be replicated, and that Germany was helping boost the game overseas.

"It takes time, it takes money, and it takes political support. The GFA is sending national coaches and [coaches] from the lower leagues all over the world."

Describing Germany's blueprint as "impressive", HKFA chief executive Mark Sutcliffe said a partnership would be timely.

"We are in the process of putting together our own curriculum, so any assistance, advice or any secondment of coaches - we would be more than happy to talk to [Germany] about it."To some extent it's what I've modelled our new strategic plan on. They have been very successful."