Can Hong Kong football buy success? This is the million-dollar - or to be exact HK$900,000 - question on the lips of most soccer fans since the Hong Kong Football Association hired Brazilian Sebastiao Pereira Araujo to coach the senior squad last month. Sports Post spoke to the parties involved - the players, the decision makers, deposed coach Kwok Ka-ming and Araujo himself in an attempt to find out if local football is justified in taking this momentous step. Is the HKFA's short-term outlook warranted? Can Araujo deliver? These are the key questions as Hong Kong football seeks to break the mould of habitually losing games on the international scene. Hong Kong are currently 129th on the FIFA world-ranking list. Their standing in Asia is just as deplorable - 22nd out of 41 teams. Araujo will have to be something of a miracle man considering his contract with the HKFA - estimated to be a minimum of HK$200,000 per month - is only for three months. The $900,000 fee is a package which also includes his assistant trainer Lula Paiva, who arrived with Araujo eight days ago. It is seen as a 'short-term investment' by the president of the HKFA, Timothy Fok Tsun-ting. Fok is believed to be the one controlling local football's purse strings. It seems more than coincidental the Fok family have ties with Brazilian soccer. Patriarch Henry Fok is said to be close to Joao Havalange, the FIFA president who is also Brazilian. When the HKFA said it would look overseas for a senior coach, it was natural to rely on the advice of influential people at the top. It is unclear if former Hong Kong coach Kwok Ka-ming knew beforehand that the HKFA was looking abroad for a coach, or if his resignation led to the HKFA going overseas. Whatever the reason, local soccer has lost the man who led Hong Kong to their proudest moment - beating China 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier in 1985. That is now a distant memory. In the past decade, the standard of the local game has nosedived. Kwok, who did not receive a penny from the HKFA for his duties as head coach, says he was shackled by the system, with clubs having priority for players. The 59-year-old Araujo comes armed with an impressive portfolio - he has been assistant coach of the Brazilian national team and national coach of Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Will his credentials suffice as he faces the unenviable task of delivering the goods, primarily winning the Interport against Guangdong next month? Araujo has already shown that he is a man who gets his way. He has convinced the powers-that-be of the need to get clubs to postpone two key fixtures in the run-up to the home-and-away Interport on January 11 and 17. 'I am confident . . . if we have three months and we have a free hand to carry out our training, our team will perform,' Araujo said. 'But we need the support of everyone in Hong Kong football.' The people who matter most, the players, are willing to give him the chance. Hong Kong captain Lee Kin-wo said: 'It will be a great learning opportunity for the players. I can't say local coaching ideas are outdated exactly, but foreign coaches bring new ideas and tactics.' It has been nearly two decades since the HKFA employed a foreign coach for the senior team. The last was Dutchman George Knobel in the late '70s. The HKFA feels there is plenty of merit in going back to the good old days in its bid to achieve the immediate goal of beating Guangdong. The last time was five seasons ago. And it has been four years since Hong Kong beat Shanghai in an Interport. Since then, success for the senior side has been at a premium. It remains to be seen if Araujo will be the Messiah to lead Hong Kong soccer out of the wilderness. Unlike Moses who spent 40 years roaming the desert in search of salvation, Araujo has only four weeks to convince the people who matter - the HKFA - that he is worth his huge salary. By Hong Kong standards, the HK$200,000 monthly fee is huge. The HKFA has joined the big league in terms of dishing out money. The question will be whether that can be matched with results. Spending big bucks just to beat Guangdong is also questionable. What the HKFA should seek from Araujo is a system which will stand the test of time and one which should help Hong Kong in the World Cup qualifiers next time around. While short-term success is laudable - after all nothing breeds success like success - a long-term plan is a must.