In order to discuss an incident in which a song closely associated with violent demonstrations was played during the Asia Rugby Sevens Series in South Korea, Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki met with the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong today.
Instead of playing the People’s Republic of China’s national anthem, Asia Rugby Sevens, the event’s organizer, played a song related to the massive, violent demonstrations and Hong Kong independence in 2019, which took place during the second leg final between Hong Kong and South Korea in Incheon.
Mr. Chan took the initiative to arrange a meeting with the general of the Korean consulate and underlined that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government firmly regrets and condemns the occurrence. He also asked the Korean side to conduct a thorough investigation.
Mr. Chan emphasized that national anthems are a country’s emblem and sign and should always be honored. It is the duty of international sports tournament organizers to guarantee that national anthems be played properly and correctly throughout each competition.
The Hong Kong SAR Government expressed strong disapproval of Asia Rugby for its inability, as a seasoned sports event organizer and in collaboration with the local organizer, to prevent the incident from happening, despite the association’s explanation that the incident was caused by human error by a local junior staff member and that an apology had been made.
Mr. Chan continued, “The Hong Kong SAR Government unequivocally finds it totally unacceptable that, despite Asia Rugby’s confirmation that the national anthem recording provided by the coach of the Hong Kong Team was the correct one, a song strongly connected to the widespread violent protests and Hong Kong independence in 2019 ended up being played during the contest.
According to the police, the Organized Crime & Triad Bureau is looking into the event and would take appropriate legal action if the hong kong anthem Ordinance or any other Hong Kong laws, such as the National Security Law, have been broken.
In the meanwhile, the Hong Kong SAR Government has asked the Hong Kong Rugby Union to take the situation seriously by opening a thorough investigation and submitting a thorough report. The union should also take steps to prevent future occurrences of the same kind.
It will also write to Asia Rugby asking it to look into the event and the roles engaged in it further and to provide a report on it.