MANILA, Philippines -- FIFA has fined the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) due to the alleged racist behavior of its fans in a friendly against the Philippines last year.
The governing body of world soccer ordered Hong Kong to pay 30,000 Swiss Francs or roughly P1.4 million.
FIFA also ordered HKFA to pay an additional 3,000 Francs or around P148,000 to cover the cost of the proceedings.
Last June, the Azkals beat their Hong Kong counterparts, 1-0.
But after the match, a group of local fans allegedly threw trash at the Azkals and shouted obscenities at Filipinos.
In a statement, Mark Sutcliffe of the HKFA expressed disappointment with FIFA's decision adding that it will consider appealing the order.
"We are disappointed with this initial decision and we reserve the right to lodge a formal appeal once we have been given more information on the grounds for this decision," he said in a statement.
"In my opinion, the incidents were very minor in nature and there was significant provocation by a number of the Philippine players. Having said that we do not condone any acts of violence or racial discrimination and as I stated publically before, we will implement stadium bans on any individuals convicted of an offence of this nature," he added.
For his part, Azkals manager Dan Palami said he hopes the Hong Kong incident last June will not be repeated.
"Certainly, racism and disrespect for another country and its people (do) not have room in any sport especially in the beautiful game of football. We are optimistic that this sad incident will not be repeated.. not just in Hong Kong but in any other country that the Azkals will play in," said Palami. -- ANC