HK coach hits in naturalized player row

Hong Kong coach Kim Pan-gon has told local players to quit moaning and work harder following rumbles of discontent about the number of foreigners in the squad for the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign.
On Tuesday, Kim named a 25-man squad for the matches at home to Bhutan (June 11) and Maldives (June 16) but around half of those were either naturalised or born in mainland China. Local side Kitchee, skippered by defender Lo Kwan Yee, won the FA Cup final on Sunday with only four Hong Kong-born players in his side, which prompted suggestions a lack of domestic talent would put off future generations from playing the game. Lo was selected by Kim for the World Cup qualifiers but the South Korean coach said he had no choice but to look outside. and”If they were good enough, we would not have to look outside,and” Kim was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post on Wednesday with regard to local players. and”If naturalized players can help, the coach has to count on their performance and passion in soccer and not their colour, or where they come from. Naturalized players also have to give up a lot to represent Hong Kong. and”Donand’t just complain but fight your way to the top level as competition is always important in keeping people moving forward.and” Hong Kong will also face Qatar and China in Group C of what is a combined qualifying tournament for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman