Hong Kong Football Association will consider restarting competitions for junior divisions after Covid-19 restrictions ease and sports facilities reopen. From today, many of the city’s sports premises will reopen, but certain conditions such as a vaccine pass, social distancing and mask requirements will remain in place. Football teams can also resume training under these conditions. A cup competition is now in the works for First Division and other lower tiers, with officials targeting a mid-May start. “We sent out a questionnaire to the junior clubs asking if they would be interested in resuming competitions when facilities are available again and the response was quite positive,” association chairman Pui Kwan-kay said. “We will be meeting soon to decide if we can stage a cup tournament for the junior clubs, possibly some time in May after clubs have resumed training for a while.” The football chief said it would be difficult to resume the league competition as it would take too long to finish. “A cup competition beginning with group stage before reaching the knockout round will fit as it can guarantee a certain number of matches for all the participating teams and not just one match if they lose like most of the straight elimination cup format,” Pui said. The professional BOC Hong Kong Premier League, abandoned in February, will not resume this year. Many clubs have already released their foreign players and will target to bring them back in summer before the new season starts. A First Division club welcomed the plan as their players were too eager to play again. “We haven’t played for over three months because of the pandemic and the players all want to go back to the pitch,” said Eastern District Sports Association football team convenor Goldbert Ko, a former Hong Kong international. Hong Kong Premier League clubs abandon season for the first time “With the facilities being reopened again, there is no way we won’t go back to competition. In fact, the Football Association has never announced the season has ended and we are happy to continue.” With players all under amateur status, it would not be difficult to gather and resume training if there is a competition to look forward to, Ko said. Eastern were in fourth position in the 14-team First Division table before all matches were suspended in early January when the government shut down sports venues following the latest outbreak of Covid-19.