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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Kevin Yeung vows to not cut funding; ice hockey body wants official meeting

Kevin Yeung vows to not cut funding; ice hockey body wants official meeting

Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said authorities are not trying to punish the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association over the national anthem blunder, but want it to improve corporate governance instead.
Yeung added that regardless of the outcome of this controversy, authorities won’t cut funding allocated for the training and competition expenditure of the ice hockey players, even if there is any punishment for HKIHA in terms of resources.

Speaking on a radio program Saturday, Yeung hoped his promise could calm athletes’ emotions, after the ice hockey governing body and the city’s top sports body have been trading shots over the past few days regarding the matter.

The sports chief pointed out that authorities want the HKIHA to concentrate on coming up with a solution to improve corporate governance, adding that what matters most is not about punishing the HKIHA over the anthem blunder.

Yeung referred to improvement measures by the HKIHA in a report submitted to the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong (SF&OC) and said the HKIHA could have implemented those measures long before.

Any sports body shouldn’t see following guidelines by the SF&OC as completing a piece of homework, he noted.

Yeung stressed the matter must be handled in a serious manner as playing the correct national anthem is of utmost importance, and anything that goes wrong could take the spotlight off the athletes’ performances.

The HKIHA then replied that Yeung’s remarks are different from those of the SF&OC. They also hoped to meet Yeung and SF&OC’s vice president Kenneth Fok Kai-kong in person to truly understand what the government and the SF&OC are thinking.

The HKIHA continued that all funding is used to pay the salaries of three clerks and the expenditures of athletes’ training and traveling to overseas competitions. All management positions including the chairman, secretary-general and other executives are voluntary and do not get paid.

The HKIHA also stressed that axing the fundings in any form will affect the nurturing and development opportunities of athletes.

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