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Saturday, Oct 01, 2022

Hong Kong squad hit by Covid ahead of Asian Cup qualifiers opener

Hong Kong squad hit by Covid ahead of Asian Cup qualifiers opener

Five members of the Hong Kong men’s football team have tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of their AFC Asian Cup qualifiers opener in India on Wednesday.
The Hong Kong Football Association confirmed two footballers and three staff members from the Hong Kong representative team had come down with Covid-19 when they arrived in India on Monday.

However, HKFA did not name the two players and three officials who will now have to spend seven days in quarantine.

Except for the five currently in self-isolation, the rest of the team will continue to observe various anti-infection practices, including taking rapid tests regularly and wearing masks whenever they are not playing, the HKFA said.

The team is set to face Afghanistan in their first Group D match on Wednesday evening (7.30pm HKT) and with games against Cambodia and the host nation India on Saturday and next Tuesday, respectively.

Public broadcaster RTHK’s TV 32 will offer live coverage of the matches for viewers in Hong Kong to support the squad.

Hong Kong coach Jorn Andersen had previously told reporters in a pre-match interview that he could not call up players based on the mainland, with the team only resuming training in May due to the city’s Covid curbs.

Still, despite all that, he is optimistic that the squad can win their opening encounter.

“[Afghanistan] has a good team, and if we give them space to play, they will become very strong. We have to attack the ball early, to destroy them early, and if we can do that in the right way, we always have a chance to play a good game against them,” said the Hong Kong team coach.
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