Southern threaten to sue the HKFA over the club’s eligibility in the AFC Champions League

The district club have yet to receive a response from the governing body on their position in the regional competition

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 November, 2016, 9:35pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 November, 2016, 11:02pm

Premier League club Southern have threatened to take legal action against the Hong Kong Football Association over their eligibility to take part in the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The club are angry they have yet to receive an official response from the governing body and have not ruled out taking the case to court if the FA decides to take responsibility for an alleged administrative blunder.

The district team were one of two clubs slated to represent Hong Kong in the 2017 ACL along with Kitchee following a board resolution in August, but their participation may now be in danger following recent reports on qualifying rules.

The saga began last week when it was reported that league winners Eastern’s place in the ACL main cannot be taken by runners-up Kitchee, after the champions initially decided not to take part. As a result, Kitchee will drop from the main draw to the qualifying play-offs while Southern – who expected to replace Kitchee in the qualifiers – will be excluded altogether.

“We have never been informed on what was happening even though there are reports saying we will not be able to participate,” said club chairman Chan Man-chun after watching his side lose 2-1 to South China in the Premier League yesterday. “We know from reports that there have been discussions between the FA and Kitchee but Southern have never been involved as the other representatives from Hong Kong.

“In fact, we have forwarded all the relevant media reports to the association but no one has responded to us. There is a lack of communication and more seriously a lack of respect for us.

“We were invited by the Football Association to take part in the regional competition and if in the end we are not eligible because of some administrative flaws, we will not hesitate to solve the problem by legal means.”