Hong Kong football fans boo China national anthem during World Cup qualifier
Politics and sports mixing together.
Sports is like politics, but on a more objective level as there are clear winners and losers.
But when sports and politics co-mingle, that’s when things get interesting too.
On Sept. 10, Hong Kong played against Iran in a World Cup qualifier match with more than 14,000 fans in the Hong Kong Stadium.
As is the practice, the national anthem of China was played for the Hong Kong team before kickoff.
Anyone who’s paid the slightest bit of attention to recent politics can guess what happened next.
Fans booed China national anthem
According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, thousands of fans reportedly booed the China anthem, turned their backs, and generally expressed their unhappiness when it was played.
Others held up signs that said “Boo”.
Yet others started singing Glory to Hong Kong, a different song that protesters have taken to singing, with some even calling it their “national anthem“.
After the match started, some fans chanted “Fight for freedom” and “Liberate Hong Kong”.
Booing the Chinese national anthem appears to have started as far back as 2014, the year of the Occupy protests in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong lost the match 2-0.
The current protests in Hong Kong are showing no signs of letting up.
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong recently said that Hong Kong had become the Berlin of a new Cold War between the free world and the “dictatorship of China”.
He was speaking at an event in Berlin, Germany itself that celebrated international human rights activists.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Sept. 4 that she will formally withdraw the extradition bill, which is one of the protesters’ five main demands.
However, a South China Morning Post article posited that it was too late and the move had “solved nothing”.
Top image from Anthony Wallace via Getty Images.