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「香港力量」昨日(4日)於香港足球隊對菲律賓一場友誼賽中,一度與菲律賓球員及球迷發生衝突,「香港力量」今日晚上特別發出聲明,全文如下:

在二零一三年六月四日晚上,香港足球代表隊對菲律賓國家隊的一場國際友誼賽中,香港力量及一眾在場為香港隊打氣的香港人,於賽後在主隊打氣區域遭到菲律賓球員及球迷以不文手勢等動作及說話挑釁。

在這個近十分鐘的挑釁過程中,香港人除了受到客隊球迷不停的挑釁之外,竟然被在場的香港警察指責輸不起,香港力量對於香港人受到此等不禮貌對待感到極度憤怒。而香港足球總會方面沒有畫出客隊球迷區域保障雙方人身安全,在挑釁過程中亦沒有馬上於觀眾席作出協調,我們亦感到極度失望。同時,足總並沒有按國際慣例劃出菲律賓球迷區,最終發生不愉快事件。足總以不專業的方式處理國際賽事,使我們十分震驚。

對於有報導指責香港力量種族歧視菲律賓球迷和球員,我們希望澄清我們的立場,並說明事實。

有香港本地英文報紙網站以菲律賓方面的一面之詞去報導事件,只突出香港球迷消極行動,忽視菲律賓球迷挑釁香港球迷的事實。 我們認為傳媒有責任公平地報導每一宗新聞,可是這個報導明顯只傾向菲律賓的一方,有違新聞專業操守。對此我們感到十分遺憾。

必須理解的是,足球比賽是一項情緒就漲的運動項目,支持者可能會利用噓聲和歌聲減低對手的氣勢。但香港力量一直都沒有鼓勵球迷在奏出菲律賓國歌時報以噓聲,也沒有成員投擲雜物。同時,現場亦有球迷受到菲律賓的球員和球迷不斷挑釁,這無疑是煽風點火。在比賽結束時,幾名菲律賓球員(特別是4號和17號)對香港球迷作出挑釁手勢。遺憾地,報導中並沒有說明此一點。

我想藉此機會重申香港的立場,我們以歌唱、揈旗幟和展示橫額支持香港代表隊。我們亦一直有與外國球迷組織建立友好關係,亦不容忍任何暴力和種族主義行為。

香港力量願意配合有關當局的調查,但我們認為該調查對象應包括菲律賓球迷,亦要考慮足總是否有採取合乎國際足協標準的行動避免衝突。

 

We at TPOHK have noticed that some reports being circulated in the Philippines and Hong Kong claimed that Hong Kong supporters have shown unruly behavior and handed out racial abuse to the Philippines supporters and players during the recent match between Hong Kong and Philippines. We would like to clarify our positions and state the actual facts.

It must first be understood that any match between Hong Kong and Philippines will carry a high level of sensitivity, especially due to the unprofessional handling on the Philippines’ part in the Manila hostage crisis on 23 August 2010, which resulted in the death of 8 innocent Hong Kong tourists. For many people in Hong Kong, the scar still very much remains, especially when the Philippines has yet to offer any substantive apology on this matter. As such, it is unavoidable that emotions will run high in a match like this with this as a background.

At the same time, it must also be understood that in matches where emotions and tensions run high, supporters may make unpleasant chants towards opposition players, staff and supporters. However TPOHK has never called for jeering during the national anthem of Philippines, and it also does not condone the throwing of missiles onto the pitch. However, given the situation, where there was also constant provocation coming from the Philippines players and supporters, it is wrong to point fingers only at the Hong Kong supporters. In fact, we would like to point out that when the match was ongoing, many Philippines supporters, donning the Philippines national team jersey and scarfs, came towards the Hong Kong supporters section to taunt the Hong Kong supporters with jeers and hand gestures, which served only to provoke. At the end of the match, several Philippines players (most noticeably players number 4 and number 17) also showed provocative hand gestures towards the Hong Kong supporters. In our opinion, this is utmost childish and unprofessional, and we believe Hong Kong supporters who were seated next to the Philippines supporters section were behaving under provocation. This, unfortunately though expectedly, was not mentioned in the reports.

TPOHK would like to highlight that in past occasions where foreign supporters came to Hong Kong, there were chants on the both sides to undermine the players on the field – and sometimes some of these chants may not be the most pleasant for hearing, but after the match, friendship is born among these supporters. In previous visits of supporters from other countries and regions, including Singapore and Chinese Taipei, supporters from both sides were able to befriend one another after the game. Even in the previous home game against Malaysia, in which Hong Kong was beaten 3-0 by the visitors, there was no issue whatsoever. So clearly, “creating friendship” was never on the agenda of the Filipino supporters.

We would also like to express our anger and disappointment towards the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) which is the agency managing the Mong Kok Stadium for their repeated incompetency. In such a highly emotionally-charged game, these agencies have failed to take preemptive risk assessment and set up a designated zone for Philippines supporters. Instead the agencies loosely allowed them to sit wherever they wish to. It only took one small spark to trigger a big conflict. Both sets of supporters were not being segregated at all, and it was no wonder that skirmishes eventually did break out, especially when there were so much provocations going on. It is alarming to see that the HKFA and the LCSD are still handling international matches in such an amateurish manner, despite the claim that it is progressing under the Project Phoenix.

At the same time, we are highly disturbed by the fact that the online version of a leading English newspaper in Hong Kong has decided to cover the story only from the Filipino’s side of the story and not the Hong Kong’s side. It is indeed regrettable that this newspaper would rather highlight the apparent negative actions on the part of the Hong Kong fans, while completely neglecting the provocation the Hong Kong supporters were also receiving. We always hold in high regards professionals in the media industry, hoping that they would provide a balanced viewpoint, but apparently this English newspaper has failed to do so, and it is indeed regrettable. What is more disappointing is that the report chose to use posts on social media site to be the source of the story. To sensationalize a story by being blatantly biased for one side and try to generalize Hong Kong people as being racist is, in our opinion, rather unprofessional and we consider it unfortunate that in order to attract readership, the paper has chosen to run this story this way.

TPOHK would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our stand. We support the Hong Kong representative team and we do so by singing, chanting, waving flags and displaying banners. We seek to build friendship with opposition supporters and do not condone any acts of hooliganism and racism. Should the HKFA be launching investigations on the so-called racism claims, we would be happy to provide assistance. But at the same time, we call for a fair and complete investigation which aims to find out the whole truth, instead of being biased and judgmental towards any one of the parties involved.

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