Before an Asian Cup qualifier that saw Hong Kong win 2-0 against Malaysia, a block of local fans in Hong Kong jeered when the national anthem was playing as they were heard clearly throughout the 40,000 seat stadium says South China Morning Post.
Some of the mainly teen Hong Kong citizens also turned their backs when March of the Volunteers was played and unfurled a banner calling for Hong Kong’s independence.
The football association chairman Brian Leung Hung-tak refused to comment on the situation, but had earlier urged the fans not to boycott the national anthem.
The association had decided to go ahead and play the national anthem, which is not mandatory under Fifa rules, said SCMP.
This is not the first time fans booed the Chinese national anthem.
Despite a ‘respect’ the national anthem law being in place in mainland China, a group of spectators at Thursday night’s match at Mong Kok Stadium make their feelings known. This happened before a Hong Kong friendly match against Laos.
SCMP said that time it was hardcore fans that booed the national anthem.
Some were even seen pointing their middle finger during the ceremony, irking soccer officials who were afraid another episode like this would happen again, said the paper.