Hong Kong football on hold

Followers of football in Hong Kong will already have noticed that league and its matches are once again on hold. As the future away from Covid seems to be further and further away what is the fate for football in the country? 

Hong Kong football in decline 

Mixu Paatelainen side falls further down the world rankings with the Special Administrative Region having not played a competitive match since a 2-0 lost to China in Busan on the 18th December 2019 in the EAFF E-1 Championship. The future for the nation's football on top of everything else is very much in the limelight.

This was a match which saw banners supporting the protests back in Hong Kong spotted around the stadium in South Korea. At the time this seemed like a match that would soon be forgotten but fast-forward just 52 weeks and the world is a very different place. 

Compared to many countries the COVID pandemic is under control in Hong Kong as they have recorded 8,672 cases with 139 deaths in a densely populated country of over seven million people. Despite this, it took teams withdrawing from the league just to finish last seasons Hong Kong Premier League as Kitchie run out winners in a title race in which four out of the six sides could have won.

The league to continue 

Fast forward then to the 2020/2021 season which began in November with eight sides taking part. This is still only two games old as the league has once again been suspended. It was seen as the country went to tighter measures which meant no sit-in restaurants after 6pm, closure of all entertainment venues & gyms etc it is also unlikely these measures will be lifted till after the Chinese New Year. 

A spokesperson at the time said on the decision “The decision was made in response to the tightened social distancing measures and to avoid people from gathering, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has also announced its facilities to be closed temporarily.”

From what I understand the league still very much plans to continue and as things stand no side has pulled out of the league. 

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