Sports House deadline anger

HONGKONG'S national Olympic committee have questioned the Sports Development Board's right to impose an occupancy deadline on the territory's associations for their controversial move to Sports House.

The Board have asked Hongkong's sports associations to decide by Friday whether they will take up an offer of free office space at the new Sports House, due to open in April 1994 at the same time as the re-vamped Government Stadium.

But the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (ASF & OC), at a council meeting last night, questioned the validity of the deadline.

Many associations are currently housed at the ASF & OC headquarters at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai.

ASF & OC deputy secretary Pang Chung said: ''The deadline is set by the SDB's architects. The architects are hired by the Royal Hongkong Jockey Club, who are using punters' money.

''That is public money, and Sports House is for the public, so why is there a deadline? ''A sub-committee will be formed to examine why there is a deadline and the criteria of space allocation.'' The ASF & OC are keen for associations to stay at the QES as they feel the Board, as landlords, will undermine their autonomy.

The Board's executive director Howard Wells was unavailable for comment last night.

However, Wells said at the Sports House briefing earlier this month that a deadline was necessary as it was hoped the opening of the new facility would coincide with that of the new 40,000-seat Stadium at So Kon Po.

The number of associations intending to move into Sports House must be known before the Urban Council invites tenders for its construction.