HONGKONG soccer chiefs are ready to set up a $750,000 prize fund in an effort to entice stay-away players back into the territory's World Cup squad. Hongkong Football Association chairman Victor Hui Chun-fui has already promised $200,000 of his own money to start the ball rolling and other senior soccer officials are prepared to chip in large sums. Hui said: ''The players need an incentive to do well because, after all, they are professionals. ''They need to look forward to something. By giving them cash bonuses, it shows that we care for them. The dramatic move comes after the squad's five South China players all pulled out citing injuries, even though four of them were fit enough to play in Sunday's Viceroy Cup final. In addition South China boss Steven Lo Kit-sing had said he was quitting as an assistant manager to the squad - although he was yesterday persuaded to remain - and national coach Wong Man-wai, the Caroliners' team manager, also said he would be resigningthis week. The wholesale walk-out took place after Lo complained about the strong influence on the squad of South China's arch-rivals, Eastern. In addition to Hui's $200,000, HKFA vice-chairman Andy Lo Yun-sum and Albert Hung Chao-hong, chairman of the South China Athletic Association, have both promised $50,000 for the ''bonus pool''. Hui will hold a meeting with Hongkong's four team managers - Steven Lo, Lam Kin-ming, Benny Tang Kar-hung and Kimmy Shuen Kin-on - this afternoon to rally more financial support. He said it was possible for Hongkong's team managers to donate another $450,000 for a grand sum of $750,000 towards the territory's World Cup campaign. Hongkong travel to Beirut next month for the first series of their Asian Group D qualifying matches against India, Lebanon, South Korea and Bahrain. Then they head off to Seoul in June for the second and final series. ''If Hongkong go through to the next round they will get the whole sum but, if they fail, they will still get a portion depending on their performance,'' said Hui. Hui, buoyed by his successful efforts to persuade Steven Lo to remain with the squad, is now hopeful the four South China players who played on Sunday - midfielders Chu Yue-tai, Leslie Santos, Shum Kwok-pui and Chiu Chung-man - will also return to the fold. The fifth Caroliners star, captain and sweeper Chan Ping-on, has a broken arm and has been ruled out for a month. ''I've managed to convince Steven to change his mind and hopefully he will convince his players to do the same. Players who are not injured should really play for the territory,'' said Hui. Hui will also try to persuade coach Wong to return. He said: ''The squad needs a good coach and I will be trying to talk him out of it.''