International

Hong Kong football fans boo China anthem as protests swell

2019-06-12 08:29
China fans cheer their team’s victory. (Patrick Hamilton, AFP)

China - Hong Kong football fans booed the Chinese national anthem and held signs opposing government plans to allow extraditions to the mainland at a home match against Taiwan on Tuesday night.

The fan protest came as the international hub is rocked once more by huge anti-government protests with record marches over the weekend and demonstrators seizing major highways on Wednesday morning. 

The latest protests have been sparked by a proposal to allow criminals to be rendered to China for the first time.

Many are fearful the proposed law will drag people into the mainland's opaque courts in politically motivated trials and hammer Hong Kong's reputation as an international business hub.

Footage posted on social media from Hong Kong's 0-2 defeat by Taiwan on Tuesday night showed fans booing loudly as China's "March of the Volunteers" anthem was played.

Fans have booed the national anthem for years but it has become much more commonplace ever since huge pro-democracy protests in 2014 failed to win any concessions from Beijing.

China bristles at any disrespect of its anthem and has fine-tuned legislation on the proper way and place to sing the anthem, tightening rules that already bar people from performing it at parties, weddings and funerals. 

Earlier this year Hong Kong unveiled a proposed law that would punish anyone who disrespects the Chinese national anthem with up to three years in jail. 

The legislation, which specifically mentions fan behaviour at football matches as part of its justification, is still making its way through the city's parliament.

A draft bill showed that the city planned to copy the mainland by bringing in a maximum three year prison sentence for "serious" cases of disrespect towards the national anthem.

The draft outlaws playing the anthem "in a distorted or disrespectful way, with intent to insult". It also forbids altering the anthem's lyrics and its score. As well as possible jail time, offenders will also face fines of up to HK$50,000 (around $6,000).

Critics of the bill have described it as yet another move by the city's pro-Beijing authorities to stamp out dissent and criticism of China in a city where free speech is supposed to be protected.

Read more on:    hong kong  |  china  |  womens world cup 2019  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Who will emerge victorious in this season's Champions League?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.