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Three Arrested During Hong Kong World Cup Qualifiers

Three people between the ages of 18 and 31 were arrested at the Hong Kong home World Cup qualifier against Iran. They were arrested for disrespecting the Chinese national anthem by turning their backs and remaining seated while it was being played, the police stated on Friday.

While Hong Kong is an administrative region of China, it competes under its own name in many international sports, including football. This has often been used as an avenue to show political discontent, with spectators in Hong Kong drowning out the national anthem with boos, to the dismay of government officials.

As a result, the practice has been banned in the country following large democratic protests.

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According to the police statement released concerning the matter, “Anyone who publicly and intentionally insults the national anthem in any way commits a crime.” The statement further explained that if convicted, the three offenders could face up to three years in jail and a fine of HK$50,000 (US$6,400). The police has since released the three of them on bail, with an obligation to report back to the force in early July.

On the other hand, Hong Kong went on to lose the qualifying match, with Iran winning 4-2, dashing the country’s ambition of advancing to the next stage.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Eagles are set to go against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in a World Cup qualifier match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium at 8 PM today.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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