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Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA)

For Hong Kong to ever make it to the Fifa World Cup, local heroes need more of our cheers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 August, 2018, 1:04pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 August, 2018, 1:04pm

I refer to Anson Chan’s letter of July 22, on how China can realise its World Cup dreams (“To take China to the Fifa World Cup, focus on teen exports, not imports”). But what about Hong Kong? How can Hong Kong rise to the World Cup group stage?

First, we need greater local support. Most Hongkongers only become “avid football fans” during hot-ticket events like the World Cup. I saw an intriguing street interview on Facebook, which tested pedestrians on their knowledge of local football. Most respondents could only name some famous Hong Kong football clubs, like Kitchee and Eastern, and struggled to name any local footballer.

You seldom hear people saying they support a Hong Kong team. For them, it is about the big names, the giants of world football. Never mind financial support, the cheers of our own people can make such a difference. Public support can be our strongest driving force.

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Besides, tactics and attack styles in football change all the time. Hong Kong only has one domestic professional football league and this is not enough to train footballers.

Hong Kong should also send its players overseas to train. Tsun Dai, who is now playing football in England, has said overseas clubs usually have more intensive training and you can play against stronger opponents, which will benefit young players. Also, our own football league could import international players to strengthen the overall competitiveness, like Kitchee had signed experienced Uruguayan footballer Diego Forlan to bolster their attacking force. We need both imports and exports, so we can become a football force to reckon with, and our home-grown heroes can rock the world.

Kelvin Ng, Ma On Shan