Hong Kong sports teams are now requested to boycott any sports events or awards presentation ceremonies if the organiser refuses to let the team leader to double check the Chinese national anthem or the regional flag on site.
According to a statement released by The Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong (SF&OC) on 30 May, the team leader must verify on site whether the national anthem and regional flag are the correct versions. If the organiser refuses to let the team leader listen to and check the name of the anthem and the flag, the team leader must not allow team members to attend the sports events or awards presentation ceremonies until the checking is acceded to and completed.
Under the amended guidelines effective from 1 June, SF&OC will provide a toolkit, including two hard copies (a computer disk or an external storage device (USB)) containing the correct national anthem with two regional flags for National Sports Associations (NSAs) and a standard acknowledgement receipt. NSAs must collect the toolkit from SF&OC every time before setting off for international sports events. SF&OC will assign a designated staff to liaise with NSAs on the collection of the toolkit.
Before departure, NSAs are required to provide the organiser with the official link of the recording of the anthem and the correct specifications of the regional flag. The assigned team leader should bring along the toolkit, and pass one hard copy (either a computer disk or USB) of the national anthem and one regional flag to the organiser, who should confirm receipt of the materials in writing by signing the standard acknowledgement receipt.
If a wrong song is played or an incorrect flag is raised, the sport team leaders should report to their sports associations at the earliest opportunity and the chairperson shall then report to SF&OC within two hours by phone, followed by a brief written report on the next working day after the incident, the statement read.
This move came after several anthem blunders involving the wrong song being played at international sports events occurred in recent months. Back in March, “Glory to Hong Kong”, a song related to the 2019 protest in Hong Kong was played during an international ice hockey competition in Bosnia. According to the video of the match, the Hong Kong athletes had put up a "T" sign with their hands to lodge a protest immediately, then the organiser made correction at once. The organiser said the accident was not intentional and it has apologised to the Hong Kong team representatives.
Most recently, Hong Kong's sports minister has urged the city’s top sports federation to put an end to an anthem blunder row by punishing Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association (HKIHA) and initiating measures to improve governance issues.
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