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Football Association of Hong Kong, China

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Football Association
of Hong Kong, China
Founded01 June 1914; 110 years ago (01 June 1914)
HeadquartersKowloon, Hong Kong
FIFA affiliation1954
AFC affiliation1954
EAFF affiliation2002
PresidentPui Kwan Kay
Football Association of Hong Kong, China
The headquarters of HKFA in Ho Man Tin.
Traditional Chinese中國香港足球總會

The Football Association of Hong Kong, China Limited (HKFA; Chinese: 中國香港足球總會) is the governing body of association football in Hong Kong. Its current chairman is Eric Fok.[1]


The HKFA was established in 1914. It is one of the oldest football federations in Asia and is responsible for organising various football competitions including professional and amateur leagues, football development and promoting football in Hong Kong.

In 1954, HKFA joined FIFA, and was also one of twelve founding associations of the Asian Football Confederation. Hong Kong played an important role in the early development of Asian football, and was given the honour of hosting the first Asian Cup competition in 1956, in which Hong Kong finished third in the tournament.

Hong Kong fields a separate FIFA-recognised representative team instead of the China PR national team.

HKFA is also responsible for operating the Hong Kong national football team (Chinese: 香港足球代表隊), which represents Hong Kong and competes in international football events.

HKFA's president is Pui Kwan KaySBS and its chairman is Eric FokJP. The CEO post has been abandoned since the HKFA sacked Joaquin Tam Chau Long to end his controversial tenure.

Project Phoenix[edit]

Project Phoenix is a government-supported action plan to reform Hong Kong football from top to bottom.


Former The FA executive director David Davies led the team of change agent - Scott Wilson Group, which was appointed by Hong Kong Football Association in September 2010 to carry out the reform and restructuring of football in Hong Kong.[2]

On 21 November 2011, HKFA named Gordon McKie as its first chief executive officer (CEO). Gordon, the former chairman of the Scottish Rugby Union, had served HKFA for only ten months and resign from his post in September 2012 with personal reasons.[3]

On 17 December 2011, HKFA appointed Ernie Merrick as the national head coach of Hong Kong Football Team. Merrick told to media that he felt honor to have an opportunity to participate the development and growing of Hong Kong football. Merrick won two titles in six season for Melbourne Victory. He started his new role on 9 January 2012.[4]

On 23 December 2011, Kim Pan-Gon named national academy coach. Coach Kim will be wholly responsible for the identification, development and coaching of all players aged 18 and below.[5]


On 17 April 2012, Australian Steve O'Connor was appointed as the new technical director. The former head coach of the football program at the Australian Institute of Sport will take up his new post in will be responsible to improve the standards of local coaching, referee development, community and youth football activities and women's football. He will also oversee the implementation of elite player development pathways from grassroots football to senior international level.[6]

On 17 September 2012, HKFA appointed Mark Sutcliffe to replace Gordon Mckie as the CEO of HKFA.

On 7 February 2013, the Hong Kong Football Association stated that the new Premier League would get under way in Autumn 2014, where it was suggested that the 2013–14 season would be a transition year.

On 28 May 2013, HKFA promoted Korean coach Kim Pan-Gon to replace Ernie Merrick as the head coach of Hong Kong national team.


In June 2015, The Government turned green light to build a national training centre in Tseung Kwan O. The budget of construction will be fully supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

On 29 November 2015, Asian Football Confederation awarded the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year award to Hong Kong Football Association in recognition of its professional administration and governance as well its exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of the game at all levels within the country.[7]


On 4 December 2019, Asian Football Confederation awarded the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year award to the Hong Kong Football Association in recognition of excellent work in football development, women and girls football, community and district football, referee development, sports science, charitable projects and the expansion of facilities with the opening on the long-awaited Football Training Centre.


In March 2023, the football association changed its name from "The Hong Kong Football Association" (Chinese: 香港足球總會) to "The Football Association of Hong Kong, China" (Chinese: 中國香港足球總會) as a result of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China threatening to withdraw government funding for the HKFA. The rebrand was accompanied by a new emblem and a new emblem for the Hong Kong national football team.[8]


Timothy Fok has served as president of the Hong Kong Football Association since 1997, after his father held the position for almost 30 years.[9] In July 2020, the Legislative Council's Public Accounts Committee criticized the HKFA under Timothy Fok, stating its governance was "appalling and inexcusable".[10] It noted that an internal audit committee, designed to review the association's use of taxpayer funding, was not active between 2015 and 2019, despite receiving HK$34 million in funding for the 2017-18 year.[10] Members of the Legislative Council also questioned if that taxpayer money was justified and well spent.[11] After HKFA's governance was criticized, the Legislative Council wanted to appoint board members to improve HKFA's governance, but the HKFA rejected the idea and claimed candidates should go through proper election procedures.[12]

In 2020, the government's Audit Commission criticized HKFA, stating that the government had given HK$160,000,000 of taxpayer money to the HKFA but there was little improvement, and that Project Phoenix had a "lack of progress".[13] The report stated that some performance metrics had even declined since 2009, rather than improving.[13]

In August 2022, a former coach of the women's team was arrested for alleged sexual harassment of two female players.[14] The association received a report from one of the victims but declined to intervene as the coach was no longer a staff member, stating "We feel there is no authority to intervene in the case after careful consideration since the case did not involve the association's current staff or took place at an association-sponsored event."[14]

In May 2023, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) arrested 23 people suspected of match fixing in lower divisions, including 1 coach and 11 players. Pui Kwan Kay, then-chairman of the HKFA, said that the scandal "would not have much effect on the holistic development of Hong Kong football" and that match fixing "is relatively hard to regulate."[15]

In June 2024, the ex-head coach of Hong Kong football team, Jorn Andersen, said that HKFA receiving millions of taxpayer dollars every year made the HKFA have no motivation to improve, and said that the HKFA needed to be "more professional, from top to bottom," and did "not do enough" to improve the sport.[16] He also named Eric Fok as not taking enough action for the sport.[16]


After the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, the HKFA has used the founding name - the "Hong Kong Football Association" until 2023.

In early 2023, the HKFA and other Hong Kong national sports associations were required by the "Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China" to add "China" to the name of the association.[17] As the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China warned to withhold government funding of HKFA, the HKFA eventually adopted the name change to "The Football Association of Hong Kong, China" during the annual meeting of the HKFA in March 2023.

In February 2024, the HKFA withdrew the esports team from AFC eAsian Cup 2023 just because the AFC and KONAMI did not use "Hong Kong, China" instead of "Hong Kong" (previous name of the HKFA) in the display name for the team.[18]


In terms of government funding, the HKFA has been one of the top receivers of taxpayer money out of all National Sports Associations in Hong Kong.[19][20] Excluding one-time grants, it receives money from the Sports Subvention Scheme (SSS) and the Arts and Sport Development Fund (ASDF).

Primary sources of government funding ($HKD); does not include all funding sources
Year 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Sports Subvention Scheme $19,852,000 $20,894,000 $20,255,250 $18,471,564
Arts and Sport Development Fund $25,400,000 $32,996,120 $33,900,000
Total (approximate) $45.25 M $53.89 M $54.16 M


Name Position Source
Pui Kwan Kay President
(Abandoned) Chief Executive
Hong Kong Eric Fok Chairman [21][22]
Hong Kong Matthew Wong Vice-chairman [21][22]
Vacant General Secretary [21][22]
Hong Kong Sin Yat Kin Treasurer [21]
John Morling Technical Director [21][22]
Vacant Team Coach (Men's) [21][22]
Brazil Ricardo Team Coach (Women's) [21][22]
Vacant Media/Communications Manager [21]
Hong Kong Tsang Wai Chung Futsal Coordinator [21]
Hong Kong Allen Lau Referee Coordinator [21]

List of previous chairmen[edit]

  • Wong Kar-kui (1940–1950)
  • Jack Skinner (1950–1954)
  • C.S. Wong (1954–1960)
  • Mok Hing (1960–1964)
  • Norman Fraser (1964–1965)
  • Mok Hing (1965–1966); second term
  • Victor Hui (1996–1999)
  • Martin Hong (1999–2007)
  • Brian Leung (2007–2019)
  • Pui Kwan Kay (2019–2023)

List of previous CEOs[edit]

  1. Gordon McKie (2011–2012)
  2. Mark Sutcliffe (2012–2018)
  3. Paul Woodland (2018–2020)

List of previous presidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ HKFA appoints Yuen as General Secretary Archived 2009-07-14 at the Wayback Machine. the-afc.com.
  2. ^ Ex-England soccer chief helps HK Archived 2023-09-14 at the Wayback Machine South China Morning Post 2010-10-06
  3. ^ HKFA names Gordon McKie as CEO[permanent dead link] RTHK. 21 November 2011.
  4. ^ Former Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick to coach Hong Kong Herald Sun. David Davutovic. 17 December 2011.
  5. ^ HKFA appoint National Academy Coach Archived 2022-10-05 at the Wayback Machine HKFA.com. 23 December 2011.
  6. ^ Aussie O'Connor happy to sign on as HKFA technical director Archived 2012-05-22 at the Wayback Machine The Standard. 18 April 2012.
  7. ^ "AFC DEVELOPING MA OF THE YEAR 2015: HONG KONG". Asian Football Confederation. 29 Nov 2015. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  8. ^ "中國香港足球總會". 中國香港足球總會. Archived from the original on 2023-05-11. Retrieved 2023-05-11.
  9. ^ "Eric Fok says 12 years in England forged his passion for football". South China Morning Post. 2021-03-15. Archived from the original on 2022-04-21. Retrieved 2021-06-19.
  10. ^ a b "Lawmakers cry foul over HKFA's management - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Archived from the original on 2021-06-24. Retrieved 2021-06-19.
  11. ^ "Hong Kong football saved but lambasted FA under scrutiny". South China Morning Post. 2020-07-03. Archived from the original on 2021-06-28. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  12. ^ "Thanks, but no thanks: HKFA rejects government appointees to board". South China Morning Post. 2020-06-09. Archived from the original on 2021-07-19. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  13. ^ a b "Hong Kong FA criticised for making 'little progress' since 2011". South China Morning Post. 2020-04-29. Archived from the original on 2021-07-15. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
  14. ^ a b Standard, The. "Football coach arrested for indecently assaulting two female players". The Standard. Archived from the original on 2022-08-21. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
  15. ^ "Chair of football assoc. says hard to regulate 'lower-tier' matches following match fixing scandal - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP". Hong Kong Free Press. 17 May 2023. Archived from the original on 2023-09-14. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  16. ^ a b "Public cash means Hong Kong football lacks motivation to improve, says ex-coach". South China Morning Post. 2024-06-29. Retrieved 2024-07-03.
  17. ^ Chan Kin-wa (9 Jan 2023). "Hong Kong sports associations told to put 'China' into names, or lose government funding and right to represent city". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 9 January 2023. Retrieved 9 Jan 2023.
  18. ^ Ho, Kelly (2024-02-02). "Hong Kong withdraws from esports competition over team name". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2024-02-06.
  19. ^ "Subvention to National Sports Associations" (PDF). Hong Kong LCSD. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-07-19. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  20. ^ "Replies to initial written questions raised by Finance Committee Members in examining the Estimates of Expenditure 2021-22" (PDF). LegCo Home Affairs Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-07-19. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j FIFA.com
  22. ^ a b c d e f "The AFC.com - The Asian Football Confederation". The AFC. Archived from the original on 2021-07-31. Retrieved 2020-09-06.

External links[edit]