Former Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) supremo Henry Fok Ying-tung will share a stage with South African President Nelson Mandela in Paris next month when both men are presented with a prestigious award at the 51st FIFA Congress. Fok was yesterday revealed as one of only 10 individuals who will be given the FIFA Order of Merit honour at the June 7 ceremony, which will kick off this year's Congress. The 75-year-old business tycoon, who spent 27 years as president of the HKFA as well as a lengthy stint on the FIFA executive committee, could not be contacted for comment yesterday. But FIFA director of communications Keith Cooper said Fok had received the award for his 'unstinting work' in helping the development of football in China and Hong Kong. 'He has been an excellent patron of football in Asia and China and Hong Kong. He has done a lot to help build the sport up and it was felt he deserved recognition,' Cooper said from FIFA's headquarters in Zurich. Fok, whose son Timothy has now taken over the helm at the HKFA, will be in illustrious company when he receives the honour at the Congress, which is being held just three days before the kick-off of the World Cup. As well as President Mandela, who was chosen for the award 'for his enthusiastic support in re-integrating football in post-apartheid South Africa', other recipients include German legend Gerd Muller and Brazilian goalkeeper Gilmar. Muller was nominated in recognition of his World Cup heroics in the 1970s, where he finished top scorer in the 1970 tournament before inspiring West Germany to victory in 1974. Gilmar gets the honour for his part in Brazil's campaigns of 1958, 1962 and 1966. Meanwhile, the HKFA last night voted to press on with changes to foreign player quotas for next season. From next season, First Division clubs will only be able to register four foreign players for the domestic campaign with only three expatriates being allowed on the field at any one time - cutting the quota by one. 'We had already discussed this at previous meetings and there was a good deal of support for it. The council members are all agreed on this issue,' said HKFA general secretary Vincent Yuen. Hong Kong's clubs have decided to cut the number of foreign players in order to give local players more opportunities in the top flight. The HKFA is also keen to get Hong Kong teams playing with only three foreign players in keeping with Asian Football Confederation tournament rules, sources said. As well as the foreign professionals issue, HKFA officials discussed the First Division future of perennial strugglers Golden. Golden, who finished in one of the bottom two relegation places in the First Division, might now be spared the drop after all, Yuen said. With Golden being one of the few clubs in Hong Kong football able to afford the running costs of life in the elite, the HKFA is reluctant to force their relegation if a genuine, fully professional alternative cannot be found from the Second Division.