The World Cup in Hong Kong: a minor event or a hotbed of football fanatics?

Chatteris' own Ben Bennet and our summer intern Ronald Lee on Hong Kong's reaction to the football world cup.

Hong Kong might not have any representation on the field in Russia but that doesn’t mean the World Cup hasn’t been seen across the 852. The 21st FIFA World Cup is unavoidable in Hong Kong as people can’t get enough of the world’s most watched sporting event. Just don’t mention the time difference…

With the first round of games now almost complete the tournament is well under way and a scattering of national shirts can be spotted all over the region. Lan Kwai Fong on Saturday was awash with the colours of Australia, France, Iceland, Argentina, Peru, Denmark, Croatia and Nigeria as people flocked to catch their team in action in the various bars in Central and Soho. However, catching your team in action over here isn’t quite as simple as it would be back home in the UK. Unfortunately, to watch the lads in action you have to pay a hefty price with a NOWTV World Cup subscription costing in excess of $880HKD ($112USD/£85).
VIUTV are however offering 19 games for free across the competition including Brazil v Costa Rica, England v Panama, two quarter-final ties, both semi-final games and the final; offering fans some opportunity to get a slice of the action for free.


If watching the games doesn’t quench your thirst for the football, then there are plenty of opportunities to be swept up in World Cup fever and Russian culture across Hong Kong. None more so than in E-plaza, Kwun Tong where fans can gather to watch daily performances by street footballers, see games and activities carried out in traditional Russian dress, and even play FIFA 18 on one of the many Xbox consoles on the second floor.



There’s no way of escaping the beautiful game during June and July. The MTR has highlights on all of its screens; the buses carry multiple adverts offering products ranging from perfumes to crisps to televisions with a footballing twist while all the local media outlets and television stations are filled with similar soccer-based bravado.  So whether you’re a footballing fanatic or if soccer sends you to sleep, it seems you’ve no choice but to embrace the 2018 World Cup. And if you’re only interested in the Hong Kong representative team then qualifying for the 2022 competition is only 12 months away…


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