Thursday, 29 August 2013

It’s Time to get Behind our Team 全力支持香港代表隊

It’s Time to get Behind our Team

The start of the new football season is upon us and this brings with it the re-start of our campaign to qualify for the Asian Cup. The Hong Kong Senior Team is well-placed to achieve something that hasn’t been done since 1968 – to qualify for the finals to be held in Australia in 2015. After two matches Hong Kong is second in the group of four which also includes the UAE, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. We have four more matches including home games against the UAE in October and Uzbekistan in November and away games against the UAE also in November and Vietnam next March.

Coach KIM and his team are working hard to prepare for these important matches and the HKFA is doing what it can to give them the support they need. We have arranged two friendly matches to help with these preparations and the team is travelling to Myanmar on 6th September. On Tuesday 10th September we play against Singapore at the Mong Kok Stadium. This will be the last opportunity to cheer on the team and show support before the competitive action starts in October. When Hong Kong beat Vietnam earlier this year the full-house and fervent support created an electric atmosphere and really gave the players a boost.

Winning is a habit and if we get positive results against Myanmar and Singapore it will generate momentum to carry forward into the Asian Cup qualifiers. So on behalf of the players, the coaches, myself and indeed the whole of the HKFA, please come and support Hong Kong on 10th September.

The vast majority of fans behaved in an exemplary manner when Hong Kong played against the Philippines but a small minority let the majority down by disrespecting the visiting team, fans and national anthem. Although there was a degree of provocation as well as a political under-current, we cannot condone such behavior. The HKFA is still under investigation by FIFA for the incidents surrounding that match and we face the possibility of sanctions. It is crucial therefore that at the Singapore match we prove that Hong Kong people are respectful, friendly and hospitable. Let’s have a great time supporting our team but at the same time let’s show respect to our visitors.     







Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Trip to Guam, Supplementary 關島之行 (後續)

Trip to Guam, Supplementary

It has been brought to my attention that there has been some discussion on public forums about my recent visit to Guam. The implication of these postings is that I have used HKFA resources to fund mine and my wife’s trip. I am very disappointed that people feel it necessary to question my personal integrity in this way, especially without checking the facts. The postings are mendacious and beyond contempt.

The fact is that my wife and I paid for all of the costs of our visit to Guam including both of our flights, all of the accommodation costs and all of the activities we took part in. The total cost of our visit was circa HK$20,000 of which the HKFA paid HK$0.00, not even the train ticket to the airport.

I thought it would be a good idea to show some support to our U18 team and take a short weekend vacation at the same time. The trip was in our time and entirely at our cost. The Hong Kong team was pleased to have my support and the EAFF was also happy for me to recognize and support their tournament. I will continue to support Hong Kong football in this way.  


關島之行 (後續)




Friday, 16 August 2013

East Asian Football Federation U18 Tournament – Guam

East Asian Football Federation U18 Tournament – Guam

Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to the tropical paradise of Guam, a place I have always wanted to visit. I wasn’t disappointed. The Island was beautiful and the locals were happy and friendly. The hospitality we enjoyed was second to none and I really want to publically thank our hosts, the EAFF and the Guam FA for their generosity and excellent organisation. My wife and I managed to find time for some rest and relaxation and I did some scuba diving, which was fantastic.
The main reason we were there however was to watch the EAFF U18 Tournament which was thoroughly enjoyable too. I am delighted to tell you that the Hong Kong team won the tournament with a 100% winning record. The Hong Kong team beat Macau, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, DPR Korea and Chinese Taipei. I was only there for the weekend so I couldn’t watch all of the matches but the ones I saw were very pleasing. The Hong Kong team performed really well and deserved their success. They controlled the games with some excellent passing and good movement off the ball. They worked hard for one another and took their chances very well. They were composed and organized throughout and looked a very mature side.
The discipline on and off the pitch was exemplary and testament to their character and that of the Coaching team. Coach Szeto and his colleagues deserve great credit for their work in preparing the team. I was very impressed and it gives me a lot of optimism for the future.
As a footnote, the Tournament was held at the Guam National Football Training Centre (pictured below). How envious I was of this excellent facility with its grass pitches, synthetic pitches, beach football court, futsal courts etc. I ask myself, how is it possible that a place like Guam with a population equivalent to 2.4% the size of Hong Kong can have a National Football Training Centre and we can’t? It’s quite embarrassing really.