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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Ice hockey team head caught in turmoil apologizes for anthem blunder

Ice hockey team head caught in turmoil apologizes for anthem blunder

Annie Kwan Yuen-yee, head of the city’s ice hockey team, apologized for the recent national anthem blunder at an international ice hockey match, adding that she was overwhelmed by arranging the team’s upcoming fixtures as they were currently competing for the flag in South Africa.
Her comments on a radio program Wednesday were responding to accusations made by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee against the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association, which said the sports body was “evasive” about when or how the correct version of the anthem was provided. The federation also accused Kwan of not insisting on checking the national anthem after the organizer ignored their initial request.

Kwan said the HKIHA did submit a report to the federation on time, but there was an unintentional delay when the body was requested to submit supplementary info.

She said she was currently leading the team for a competition in South Africa and wanted to focus on the preparation work for the players and the team. She also explained earlier that it was very challenging for her to look after the team and make arrangements for the competition on her own, especially when several of her players fell ill upon arriving in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“We already tried our best to safeguard the country’s dignity. We are proud that players could react instantly when the wrong anthem was played,” she said.

“Regarding claims that it was inappropriate for us to only give directions on WhatsApp, we regret that our efforts were not recognized,” she added.

Kwan this morning reiterated that the correct version of the anthem was provided, and she could not locate staffers of the organizer inside the rink after winning the game that day.

She regretted the incident and apologized to citizens and the federation, saying she had learned a lesson.

Meanwhile, Starry Lee Wai-king, Hong Kong’s newly elected sole representative to the 14th NPC, said the award presentation ceremony at the international games should be a solemn occasion, and should not allow organizers to search for the anthems online by themselves.

She also noted that it should be easy for team leaders to ensure the organizers have received the correct version of the anthem.

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