Right anthem but wrong name this time for Hong Kong team at Rugby World Cup qualifier

Another national anthem blunder was revealed in a match highlights video on YouTube, where the right Chinese national anthem was played for the Hong Kong team but was identified as “Glory to Hong Kong” as shown in the subtitles.

“Glory to Hong Kong, National Anthem of Hong Kong,” the subtitles of a banner on screen read, although the Chinese national anthem “March of the Volunteers” was playing at the time.

“Glory to Hong Kong” is a popular song during the anti-extradition bill protests in 2019 and is seen as the main anthem for the movement by protesters.

The match highlights video was uploaded Thursday last week (Nov 10) by RugbyPass, “the official streaming platform for rugby in Asia and for Heineken Champions Cup and Guinness Pro14 in Australia,” according to its YouTube description.

The video has been deleted already.

The Rugby World Cup 2023 Final Qualification match kicked off at 6.30pm local time in Dubai on November 6, and Portugal beat Hong Kong 42-14.

Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said the incident couldn’t be tolerated as the national anthem should be respected.

Speaking to the press after an event Saturday, Yeung said he felt unbelievable that incidents related to the Hong Kong rugby team and the national anthem occurred repeatedly within a short period.

He stressed authorities were contacting the Hong Kong Rugby Union for more details and believed all citizens also couldn’t accept what had happened. Authorities will follow up on the incident in a serious manner.

The HKRU also said in a statement that it is “aware that … an incorrect graphics caption was used when the PRC National Anthem was played prior to the game.

“The Hong Kong men’s team lined up and sang ‘The March of the Volunteers,’ however on the television broadcast a graphic was superimposed on the live shots by the World Rugby production crew incorrectly labeling the anthem as another song.

“The HKRU has since requested a detailed timeline and explanation from World Rugby, as well as a formal apology from the global body to the government and people of Hong Kong, and understands that this will be issued forthwith.

“Playing or labeling the national anthem of China incorrectly is both disrespectful and hurtful to the people of Hong Kong and the nation, and the HKRU has again expressed its extreme dissatisfaction with World Rugby for this serious error.”

This incident followed an earlier one where the popular protest song was actually played as Hong Kong’s national anthem at an Asia Rugby Sevens Series match between the city and South Korea.

On Friday, Hong Kong beat Kenya 22-18 and finished third in the tournament, while Portugal held the USA to a 16-16 draw and secured a place in Pool C in the finals next year as they won on overall points.

Portugal will face Australia, Fiji, Georgia, and Wales in the group stage.