The protracted shadows of history can often linger…….
The first Asian Cup was hosted in Hong Kong in 1956. In a bygone era when the HK league was seen as one of the leading lights in the Asian game and ahead of the likes of Japan.
History often casts a long shadow and HK football often struggles to escape the ghosts of the past and subsequent years have seen years of disappointments, apathy and mediocrity.
Decades on, HK are set to make their fourth appearance on Asia’s grandest stage.
Hong Kong has seen a gradual cultural and societal shift which has seen sports gradually becoming part of everyday life in a place where often other priorities take center stage.
Football still, just about, retains its position as the most popular team and spectator sport in Hong Kong and while local fans will stay up in their hundreds of thousands to watch leagues from halfway around the world, HK football itself still struggles to often attract more than a few hundred spectators for a match.
Would fans pour into the streets if HK defeat, say Iran, in their second match; the answer is most likely no.
In Qatar, Hong Kong has nothing to lose and expectations will be balanced.
Much is often spoken of HK’s ‘Golden’ age of football and the long looming arc of history has often hindered the development of domestic football and still continues too. A pall & gloominess that has endured for decades and generations…..
Yet in this grand desert adventure in the basking glow of the endless shimmering sun, if HK can spring a surprise or two, then the long shadows of HK’s football past may finally dissipate ..….
Main Photo – South Korea at the Old HK Stadium in 1956 – AFC.com