Organisers of Rugby World Cup final qualifying tournament make blunder for the 2nd time during playing of Chinese national anthem between HK & Portugal teams


19th November 2022 – (Dubai) Hong Kong won over Kenya in the Rugby World Cup final qualifying tournament on Friday night. Even though there was no mistake made during the playing of the Chinese national anthem yesterday, another blunder was created by the organisers before the match between the Hong Kong team and Portugal team. The national anthem for Hong Kong team on the official clip during broadcast of the game on TV was described again as the controversial protesters’ song : ‘GLORY TO HONG KONG NATIONAL ANTHEM OF HONG KONG’.

The relevant match was held on 6th November at 6.30pm local time in Dubai. However, during the matches between Hong Kong against the United States on 12th November and the Hong Kong’s match against Kenya on 18th November, although the highlight clips of the relevant games also contained the Chinese national anthem, there were no subtitles being played. Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) has yet to respond to the incident.

The South Korean organisers of a regional rugby tournament have earlier apologised for ‘mistakenly’ playing a song embraced by Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters as China’s national anthem, an incident that sparked strong reaction from Hong Kong government. Police are still investigating over the incident.

“Glory to Hong Kong” which lyrics call for democracy and liberty was played before the men’s finals between South Korea and Hong Kong in the second leg of the Asian Rugby Seven Series in Incheon, just west of Seoul, on Sunday. The Hong Kong government early Monday issued a strongly worded statement to express its dissatisfaction over the incident.

HKRU’s statement issued on 15th November, it expressed its extreme dissatisfaction at this occurrence and has received a full explanation of the circumstances that led to this. Whilst we accept this was a case of human error it was nevertheless not acceptable. The HKRU has registered its deepest concern and regret over this incident. Asia Rugby has expressed its sincere apologies and assured HKRU it will not happen again.