By Jake Bacon
10th October 2019,
FIFA has fined the Hong Kong Football Federation after fans whistled and booed the Chinese national anthem in a World Cup qualifier against Iran last month.
Hong Kong were hit with a HK$118,000 (£12,299) fine for causing ‘disturbance during national anthems; use of objects to transmit a message that is not appropriate for a sports event’ before their 2-0 defeat to Iran.
Hong Kong has an independent football team, but because it is an administrative region of China, the Chinese national anthem is played before games.
They are third in Group C of the Asia zone and face Iraq this week.
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Anti-Beijing protests have taken place in Hong Kong for months following proposals to allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, which could undermine the city’s judicial independence.
The bill was eventually removed, but violence between police and activists has continued, with the latter demanding full democracy.