Hong Kong’s sports federation wants local sports associations to include ‘China’ in official names

Hong Kong’s sports federation has told local sports associations to include “China” in their official organization names or risk getting booted from the city’s Olympic Committee.

The Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, made the request to about 60 of the total 82 national sports associations under its umbrella that were yet using the designation, which includes the likes of the Hong Kong Football Association and Hong Kong Rugby Union. 

The associations’ governing bodies have been given until July to make changes and rename their associations accordingly.

Meanwhile, the associations are also reminded to use the name “Hong Kong, China” whenever they participate in international sports competitions and activities.

The federation said they believed the associations would have sufficient time to carry out the process to cater to the request, while the federation would provide all necessary assistance to the associations.

Commenting on the move, Pui Kwan-kay, chairperson of the Hong Kong Football Association, said despite the HKFA not being renamed since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, the football team representing the city has been using the name “Hong Kong, China” to compete in international competitions.

However, he found the move to rename the association necessary and would soon call for a general meeting to initiate the renaming process and would notify international football governing bodies of the change.

Separately, Ringo Lee Yiu-pui, president of the Hong Kong Automobile Association, said the move to rename the association is challenging given its 100 years of history in the city.

He said he was reluctant to rename the association, but it is the only way to allow Hong Kong drivers to represent the city legally in international competitions.

Lee also noted that there is a lot of red tape in renaming the association, including changes to its numerous registrations and banking info, which he expected the renaming process could only be initiated after the Lunar New Year.