SEOUL: Authorities have ordered an investigation into the matter after an anti-China song was played in lieu of China’s national anthem at a rugby game in Hong Kong.
According to the report, Hong Kong’s government reacted with fury on Monday after a popular democracy protest songs was played at rugby sevens tournament in South Korea.
City officials said they “strongly condemned” the song associated with the “violent protest”.
The city’s sports teams play the Chinese national anthem, but before Hong Kong took on South Korea in the final of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series in Incheon on Sunday, “Glory to Hong Kong” was played instead.
The song ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ was considered the unofficial song of the pro-democracy movement of 2019.
The song talks of “Zameen ke Aanor” and “democracy and freedom”.
Officials did not name the song in their statement but videos of Sunday’s match are being shared online. In this, people can be seen singing this song in the match played between Hong Kong and South Korea.
The Hong Kong government “strongly deplores and opposes the playing of a song closely associated with violent protests and the ‘independence’ movement” in place of China’s national anthem,” it said in a statement.
“The National Anthem is a symbol of our country. The organizer of the tournament has a duty to ensure that the National Anthem receives the respect it warranted,” a government spokesperson said.
The tournament organizers issued an apology and played the Chinese anthem after the match, the Hong Kong government statement added.
Hong Kong authorities said they had ordered the city’s rugby union body to launch an investigation and “convey our strong objection” to tournament organizers Asia Rugby.
“Glory to Hong Kong” has a similarly rousing composition and was secretly recorded by an anonymous orchestra during the protests.
But its lyrics are about a very different struggle — freeing Hong Kong from Beijing’s control and bringing democracy to the city.
Playing the song in Hong Kong is now all but illegal under a security law Beijing imposed on the city to stamp out dissent after the 2019 protests.
In September, a harmonica player who played the tune to a crowd commemorating Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II was arrested.