Anthem mistake must be followed up

March 28, 2023

 (To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive John Lee said that sports associations that have not made a proper effort to ensure the accurate national anthem is played during any given athletic event, should be held accountable and appropriate action must be taken.


He made the statement ahead of an Executive Council meeting today while fielding questions from reporters about incorrect music being played during an ice hockey match between Hong Kong and Iran at the Ice Hockey World Championship on February 28.


Mr Lee stressed that the national anthem deserves respect and the responsible sports association should make every effort to play the accurate national song.


“The national anthem is a matter of dignity. It is a matter that deals with the emotion of our people. And the people whose feelings will be hurt, must be taken care of seriously.


“So I think every organisation and every company that may have a role to play, should try to ensure that the right song is played, which is the national anthem of the team concerned. So our national anthem must be played on such occasions.


“The responsible sports association should (do) its best to ensure this is done. We have guidelines drawn up for this. And I know that the Ice Hockey Association has submitted its report to the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China. (SF&OC)”


Apart from noting that the SF&OC subsequently submitted a report to the Government on the incident, the Chief Executive said the Culture, Sports & Tourism Bureau will meet representatives of the SF&OC to discuss what measures should be taken.


“My guidance in this is very clear. Those who are in the management of any sports organisations, if they have not done what they should do, then they should be held accountable and action should be taken appropriately.”

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