HK Ice Hockey Association verbally promises to provide response to  Sports Federation and Olympic Committee on national anthem blunder by next Monday

160

17th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong ice hockey team encountered a flagrant mistake during the playing of their national anthem at the World Ice Hockey Championship held in Bosnia last month. The  Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong has demanded an explanation from the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association regarding the incident by next Monday (20th March). They have also invited them to meet on Thursday (23rd March) to discuss the matter, but have received no response so far. If they do not receive a reply before the deadline, the  Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong has made it clear that they will consider taking further action. As of 8pm today, Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong said that it received a verbal response from the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association promising to provide a response by next Monday.

While the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong has no desire to create mutual finger-pointing between the two of them, they insist that representing China Hong Kong during an international competition requires prompt action. They have emphasised that the team leader must provide a hardware device that stores the correct national anthem, such as a computer hard drive or USB thumb drive, as well as the district flag, to the event organiser. The organiser must then confirm in writing that they have received and stored the hardware device properly, either through email, mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp, or with an official note. The team leader must also bring an extra set of the national anthem and district flag to the competition venue for emergency use. In other words, the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association must hand over the “toolkit” for the correct national anthem and flag in a physical form to the Hong Kong Sports Association. Submitting them electronically is inappropriate. Additionally, the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong has pointed out that merely sending a simple electronic message to explain the national anthem and district flag standard before departure is insufficient.

In terms of language, the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong believes that the International Ice Hockey Federation, being an international organisation, should have adequate language proficiency and management skills for organising world-class competitions. They also suggested that if language barriers do arise, they can use graphics to aid comprehension, which they believe should not pose significant difficulties. The Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong has also reminded the event organiser not to download the national anthem and district flag from the internet. They think that the International Ice Hockey Federation, the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association, the event organiser, and the team all have a responsibility to handle the matter of playing the national anthem appropriately, and if the Hong Kong team has made an effort, the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong will understand. As for whether the Ice Hockey Association personnel will be penalised, the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong believes it is premature to say and requires a factual basis before any decision is made.