Hong Kong set 2034 World Cup target

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If anyone in the Hong Kong football association (HKFA) told you their target of reaching the 2034 World Cup, you'd likely burst out laughing, but that is their aim. The HKFA has outlined a plan to hopefully keep their funding coming in, and 2034 is a part of that outline.

2034 plan, is time running out on Hong Kong?

So, Hong Kong has outlined their plan for the Hong Kong sports authorities and part of that plan is their aim to qualify for the 2034 World Cup. It isn't an attainable goal, but presumably either, 'we aim to qualify for the World Cup' are magic words that loosen the purse strings, or the HKFA is worried that they are running out of time to have any chance of qualifying for the World's biggest football party.

Why are they running out of time, I hear you asking. Well, we all know how China's encroachment, where Hong Kong's border is slowly being eroded, and over time more and more land will cease to belong to Hong Kong.

At some point, China wants to take 'Hong Kong back' which has been evidently clear from all the protests going on for a month, after month, after another month. There is no end in sight to these protests because what Hong Kong want, China is unwilling to give.

So the question is, will Hong Kong even be in existence in 2034? It is a question Hong Kongers won't like to hear, and it is also what they are out protesting and fighting about every day, month after month. Therefore, it comes as no surprise the HKFA are in somewhat of a rush to attempt to make the World Cup finals.

The target sounds unrealistic, but with more spots being open to Asia after the expansion, the minnows do have more opportunities, if for example, they get a golden generation or somehow punch above their weight.

The biggest worry, however, would be will Hong Kong still be Hong Kong in 2034? 

Safe to say, they won't qualify

If Hong Kong, is still Hong Kong for the 2034 World Cup qualifiers, I believe it is safe to say they will still struggle. About the World Cup expansion, it gives all these smaller nations something to fight for, and something to aim for because someone has to qualify. Why not a smaller nation if they really go for it all hammer and tongs?

Maybe Hong Kong should allow foreign players to play for them after five years instead of seven, therefore they could call up those guys earlier than they are now. A more realistic aim for Hong Kong would be to aim for qualifying for the Asian Cup because they only missed out on that last time around by the skin of their teeth.

I do understand though, trying to get the budget allocated to you by the sports authorities for a push to qualify for the Asian Cup doesn't have the same ring to it as the World Cup does.

Let's face it, China isn't exactly the safest place to be for Hong Kong fans right now, they would be in the same situation as Taiwan would in a way, that if they qualify for the next Asian Cup, they will have issues about going to China to support the lads on their merry way.

Hong Kong's aim of 'qualifying for the 2034 World Cup' will secure their budget, but they will not qualify. However, qualifying for China 2021 might not have secured their budget. The more pertinent question though is, is time on Hong Kong's side? And will Hong Kong, be Hong Kong in 2034? 

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5 Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. 1. While I'm sure the HKFA would love to naturalize foreigners after five years instead of seven, the problem is that the Hong Kong government doesn't have the power to set its own immigration laws. If the Chinese government wants to naturalize Elkeson after five years, they can because that is the minimum amount of time that FIFA will accept and more importantly, the Chinese government can make up the rules as they go along.

    You mentioned the protests and whether Hong Kong will still be Hong Kong. It just so happens that some of the protestors fall into the "localist" camp of politics. They're the people who oppose such schemes such as the one way permit from China which allows up to 150 mainlanders per day to move to the city and the government can do nothing about it. They're the ones who are concerned about whether this will dilute the local culture, whether the mainlanders will integrate or whether they will simply overwhelm and become the majority in a number of years.

    I'm not taking a position here but I simply want to illustrate how the degree to which Hong Kong has control over who can immigrate and who can become a citizen.

    2. The subsidy which is being requested by the HKFA is $25 million HKD which is the same amount that they've received over the previous five year cycle. They say that that money will be spent on the grassroots but there are clear and obvious questions as to whether that money will be enough to even maintain the status quo, let alone the Asian Cup, let alone the World Cup.

    Last I heard, there are 86 pitches open to the public in all of Hong Kong for a population of 7.5 million people and growing. That's roughly 1 pitch for every 92,600 people. Yes, land is in short supply, yes, most Asian parents discourage their children from perusing sport as a profession and yes, there is a need to incentive more coaches to get AFC A or Pro licenses. All of that is important but not as important as giving people a place to play and train.

    This is a challenge in not just the urbanized areas of Hong Kong but also the outlaying islands where you're lucky if there's a fustal/basketball court that you can use. $25 million is not enough to engineer a solution but perhaps double that amount coupled with public sentiment and a government willing to support sports infrastructure will.

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  3. Thank you Lester can we publish your comments so more viewers can read them?

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    1. Yes absolutely! One correction though: In the 5th paragraph I wrote that there is 1 pitch for every 92,600. Please correct that to 1 pitch for every 87,209 people before publishing.

      Thanks.

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    2. Thank you, this is live now - https://www.fromthetofubowl.com/2019/11/hong-kong-and-naturalisation.html

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