From shamateurism to pioneer of Asia's professional football: the introduction of professional football in Hong Kong

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Abstract

Football in early post-war Hong Kong was rife with shamateurism. Since getting rid of under-the-table payments was all but impossible, in the mid-1950s there began to appear suggestions to introduce professional football into Hong Kong. But at the time, the unique situation of Hong Kong football meant that neither the clubs nor the top players supported legalizing professional football. The status quo was finally shaken by a bitter feud between the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong (ASF&OC) and the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA), triggered when the ASF&OC refused to endorse Hong Kong's participation in the 1968 pre-Olympic football competition in response to allegations of professionalism. The strong stance taken by the ASF&OC eventually prompted the HKFA to sanction professional football in the 1968-1969 season, making Hong Kong the first location in Asia to legalize professional football.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-614
Number of pages12
JournalSoccer and Society
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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