Defending Hong Kong Premier League champions Tai Po withdraw from league


Defending Hong Kong Premier League champions Tai Po have withdrawn from the Hong Kong Premier League due to problems with sponsors as reported in the South China Morning Post

Tai Po withdraw from the league, citing problems with their sponsor

Tai Po have been forced to withdraw from the Hong Kong Premier League citing problems with their sponsor. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, their sponsor has failed to uphold their contract with their the club, therefore players and coaches have gone unpaid.

The club quoted their contract agreement with their sponsor, which said, “Party A promises; the year’s sponsorship is for the whole season, and will not stop or be delayed due to injections of funds. Agreeing for all staff and players’ salaries, Party A will provide funds until June 30 2020. Otherwise, Party A will be responsible for all legal and financial costs."

Without the money from the sponsor, there seems to be no way that the club can push on through and get to the end of the season, especially without players or staff being paid. So they have taken the only decision left open to them and that is withdrawn from the league. COVID-19 has been destroying football in Hong Kong, as the league is now only left with six teams and it might even be difficult for football to come back from the effect that COVID-19 has had on the sport in the territory.

Kitchee will replace Tai Po in the AFC Cup

If or when the AFC Cup gets underway, then Kitchee will replace Tai Po in the East Zone group stage of the AFC Cup. This is because Kitchee were the highest-ranked side who took part in the playoff round.

This means that Taiwan's Taipower and Mongolia's Ulaanbaatar City will face each other, with the winner getting a place in the East-Zone group stage. 

Before Tai Po withdraw from the Hong Kong Premier League, the winners of this playoff would have to move onto another playoff match to face Kitchee. Then the winner of that match was originally scheduled to enter the East Zone group stage, but now both Taipower and Ulaanbaatar will fancy their chances of making the group stages the first time in a long time.

COVID-19 has caused a sad situation in Hong Kong, where the league is now down to 6 teams. If the situation goes on any longer, the league could be decimated even more. Apparently, the league will try to replace some of the missing teams with lower league sides. We hope that football in Hong Kong can recover from all the setbacks it is seeing right now because of the impact COVID-19 is having on organizations economically.

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