FIFA fines Hong Kong soccer body for China anthem protest

FIFA fines Hong Kong soccer body for China anthem protest
Riot police chase protesters near a demonstration in Hong Kong, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. Tens of thousands of masked protesters marched defiantly in the city center Sunday, but the peaceful rallies quickly degenerated into chaos at several locations as hard-liners again lobbed gasoline bombs, started fires and trashed subway stations and China-linked banks and shops.(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has fined Hong Kong’s soccer federation 15,000 Swiss francs ($15,100) for fans disrespecting the Chinese national anthem before a World Cup qualifying game last month.

Hong Kong fans booed and turned their backs when the anthem was played for their team before a Sept. 10 qualifier at home against Iran.

The game took place amid ongoing pro-democracy protests against China’s rule of Hong Kong, which was under British rule until 1997.

Hong Kong, which lost 2-0 to Iran, has its next home game on Nov. 14 against Bahrain.

Also, FIFA fined Indonesia 45,000 Swiss francs ($45,300) for fan disorder in a home qualifier against neighboring Malaysia.

The game was suspended for several minutes late in the second half because of clashes between fans. Malaysia won 3-2 with a goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

FIFA warned Malaysia for its fans’ lack of discipline and throwing objects.

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