AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifying

How can I keep up with Hong Kong’s vital Asian Cup qualifier in North Korea? Well, there’s good news and bad news ...

Find out how you can follow the action when Hong Kong take on North Korea in Pyongyang next week with a place at the 2019 Asian Cup at stake

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 March, 2018, 11:15am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 March, 2018, 12:21pm

Hong Kong take on North Korea in Pyongyang on Tuesday March 27 with a chance to “secure their place in history” in the words of caretaker boss Liu Chun-fai, the goalkeeper during the Hong Kong team’s landmark win against China in Beijing.

The brief for Tuesday is simple: beat the North Koreans in their capital and they qualify for the AFC Asian Cup in United Arab Emirates next year. Anything less than victory for Hong Kong and it will be the hosts that join the Lebanon side in making their way the to the UAE next January.

Is it on TV?

The match will not be shown on television after Now TV decided against pursuing the broadcast rights from the North Korean Football Association. A spokesperson told the Post: “Now TV has considered live broadcast the forthcoming North Korea vs Hong Kong match, but will not cover it now due to area restriction and technical difficulty.”

An insider revealed that the cost was felt too high at over HK$1 million for the game, a figure which surprised them. There were also concerns over the reliability of the feed from North Korea.

How has this situation come about?

“The rights for AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Final round belong to the relevant Member Associations - including the broadcast rights,” explains Colin Gibson, director of communications at the AFC. If a Hong Kong broadcaster wishes to show the DPR Korea v Hong Kong match in the territory then they are free to approach the DPR Korea FA for the rights.”

So how else can you keep up?

The AFC have said that they will run a live update in their matchcentre on their website. This will tell you the scores and other stats from the game as they happen. You can also follow along via their social media channels, which will be updated immediately. The AFC site is also the place to check for a match report just after the final whistle.

Another option is Goal.com, whose own match centre has been offering live updates on the North Korean sides in the AFC Cup.

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Will we ever see the game?

There is still a chance you may get to see highlights at some point ­– maybe. It remains unclear whether footage from the game – which will be filmed, as match highlights are shown domestically in North Korea ­– will make its way to Hong Kong, according to the Hong Kong Football Association.

They may end up on the AFC’s Youtube channel at some point in the future, as other games from North Korea have in the past but this has not been confirmed and will not be anytime soon. Also, the DPRK Sports Youtube account often shows the highlights packages broadcast in North Korea and full games, as does Koryo Media.

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In the meantime, cross your fingers and hope that Hong Kong can go one better than when the sides drew 1-1 when they met at Hong Kong Stadium back in June last year.