FIFA Fines Hong Kong for Fans’ Racism20 January 2014

TheInternationalFootballFederation(FIFA)hasfinedtheHongKongAssociation(KKFA)€24,330becauseofracistbehaviourbyagroupofitsnationalteamfansduringafriendlymatchagainstthePhilippinesatHongKong,lastJune.

Following the match between the two sides on 4 June 2013, newspapers cited spectators as saying a section of Hong Kong supporters threw bottles at mostly women and children, called the Philippine fans slaves and booed the country’s national anthem.

Acting on the complaint filed by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), a disciplinary committee met in November to consider the behaviour of the fans during the match, which the Philippines won 1-0.

As a result, the HKFA has been fined  €24,330 and ordered to pay an additional €2,430 to cover the legal costs of the investigation.

A statement from the HKFA said: “On the night in question it is alleged that a minority of Hong Kong supporters were guilty of racial discrimination and throwing missiles,”

“Under the terms of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) the ‘home’ organizer i.e. the HKFA is responsible for the behaviour of its supporters.”

The HKFA said Friday that FIFA has only provided the terms of its decision.

Mark Sutcliffe, HKFA chief executive said in the statement: “We are disappointed with this initial decision and we reserve the right to lodge a formal appeal once we have been given more information on the grounds for this decision,”

“In my opinion, the incidents were very minor in nature and there was significant provocation by a number of the Philippine players,” he said, without elaborating. “Having said that, we do not condone any acts of violence or racial discrimination and…we will implement stadium bans on any individuals convicted of an offence of this nature.”

The HKFA chief executive said there haven’t been any problems in matches since. He added that, while he understood FIFA’s firm line, the money would be better spent on the development of football in Hong Kong rather than “going into the coffers of FIFA.”

From The Wall Street Journal

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