Tsang 1, Leung 0: Finance chief’s Facebook post on Hong Kong football team ‘liked’ by thousands, while chief executive’s draws flak

Previously criticised for reluctance to support city’s squad, CY Leung fails to impress with comments on 2-0 defeat by Qatar in World Cup Qualifiers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 March, 2016, 12:41pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 March, 2016, 5:59pm

Hong Kong’s two top officials praised the performance of the city’s football team, although it was eliminated in the World Cup Qualifiers after a defeat in Qatar.

However, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah’s Facebook posts drew contrasting reactions from internet users, with Leung’s attracting tens of thousands of negative responses, while the latter’s was “liked” by thousands.

Leung was previously criticised for his reluctance to show support for the Hong Kong team when it played against the national team twice last year.

Chief executive praises both Hong Kong and national football teams on match, pleasing few local fans

In November, Leung claimed he could not watch the Hong Kong team’s qualifier against China as he was visiting Manila, yet Tsang posted a photo of himself watching the game on a computer while on an official visit in Romania.

This time, Leung said he tried his best to watch the game.

At 2.16am on Friday morning, minutes after Hong Kong was defeated by Qatar, Leung wrote on Facebook: “After the Boao Forum for Asia ended [in Hainan], there was no direct flight to Hong Kong, and I had to fly to Shenzhen. When I got back to the Government House, I still made it for the last eight minutes of the live TV broadcast of Hong Kong’s game versus Qatar. The Hong Kong team lost 2-0, but we are proud of them.”

The chief executive also posted a picture of a football he said he won at a fundraising dinner auction for a Hong Kong football team.

But internet users seemed unimpressed by Leung’s effort to show his passion for the beautiful game. By 5.30pm on Friday, the post was plastered with about 29,000 “angry” emoticons, while about 1,500 people “liked” it and a meagre 89 people expressed “love” for it.

University of Hong Kong law professor Eric Cheung Tat-ming even commented on the post and asked Leung to clarify if the football was only donated by a football club for Lok Kwan Social Service’s auction in 2008, according to the news portal HK01.

In contrast, Tsang’s post at 2.07am, which said “Proud of the Hong Kong team! Amazing fighting spirits!”, attracted about 4,600 “likes”, 300 “love” emoticons and two “angry” one.