Football is the most popular sport in Hong Kong, followed by rugby union. The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) is the governing body of football in Hong Kong.
But Hong Kong’s first football club is the Hong Kong Football Club, commonly known as The Club, which was found in 1886. Hong Kong Football History.
Hong Kong’s first football competition is the Challenge Shield, which was found in 1898.
In the early 20th century, the Hong Kong Football League was found in 1908. Most of the pre-World War II records have been lost and many cannot recall the former glory of Hong Kong professional football.

In the 1970s and 1980s, football was strong and popular in Hong Kong, with competitive local teams promoted by famous foreign players and managers, playing in front of crowds of tens of thousands.

In 1985, Hong Kong defeated China 2–1 in a famous match to advance to the 1986 World Cup in Beijing. The team was eventually disqualified.

Hong Kong Football team

In recent years, major efforts have been made by the Hong Kong government to improve both the governance of the HKFA and the quality of Hong Kong football under an official scheme called ‘Project Phoenix’.
Before Hong Kong became a member of FIFA in 1954, Hong Kong began playing in the Hong Kong–Macao Interport Tournament in 1937, one of the oldest and most continuously played competitions organized by Hong Kong. There have been other interpret tournaments in the past, such as the Shanghai-Hong Kong Interport which was first held in 1908.

Hong Kong best team

At that time the team consisted of ethnic Chinese as well as Western immigrants, as in the 1935 and 1937 editions in Shanghai. There was another interpret tournament against Saigon. The aforementioned Macau, Shanghai, and Saigon were not members of FIFA at the time and were not independent countries, Hong Kong and Macau joined FIFA in 1954 and 1978 respectively. The Chinese national football team that competed in the 1936 and 1948 Summer Olympics was compose primarily of ethnic Chinese players from Hong Kong, named Li Wai Tong.

After WWII, a number of Shanghai-based players began to represent Hong Kong, such as Chang King Hai and Hsu King Shing. Hong Kong played its first post-World War II international match in 1949 against South Korea. Their first victory came in 1953, a 4–0 win over South Korea.

Hong Kong becomes FIFA member

The Hong Kong FA has been a member of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation since 1954. Since then, Hong Kong has played its first FIFA-recognised international match against other countries. The HKFA also sent a scratch team for the 1957 Merdeka tournament. Which consisted of a few players from clubs other than the Easterners because of their proximity. The club was on a pre-season tour in South Asia, thus the HKFA invited the club to represent Hong Kong. However, some players were actually ineligible to play for Hong Kong, as they were ROC (Taiwan) internationals.

Hong Kong qualified for three of the first four editions of the Asian Cup. Including a third-place finish in the 1956 edition as hosts. At the time, most Hong Kong players represented the Republic of China (Taiwan). They finished third in the Asian Cup in the 1960 edition, leaving more inferior players for a proper Hong Kong team.

Hong Kong in World Cup

However, his most famous victory came during the 1986 World Cup qualifiers. On 19 May 1985, Hong Kong faced China in the final match of the first qualifying round in Beijing. Where Hong Kong needed a win to advance while China only needed a draw. Hong Kong, led by coach Kwok Ka Ming, with goals from Cheung Chi Tak and Ko Kam Fai, secured a 2–1 upset win. Thus winning the group and advancing to the knockout stage where they would later be draw by Japan. He was defeat. Hong Kong Football History.

Successful team

The year 2009 was a turning point in the declining quality of Hong Kong football. On 12 December, Hong Kong defeated Japan to win its first East Asian Games football gold medal. The first major competition won by Hong Kong. This result gave rise to the belief that the Hong Kong football team could perform in the big competition. The Hong Kong football team also won the 2010 Long Teng Cup and the 2011 Long Teng Cup.

Hong Kong experienced a brief soccer fever during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. As Hong Kong was draw into the same group as arch-rivals China. Due to tensions arising from the Hong Kong-Mainland China dispute, many local citizens took an interest in this year’s campaign. Hong Kong finished the campaign with 4 wins against Bhutan and Maldives, 2 goalless draws against China, and 2 defeats against Qatar.

At the end of 2018, under the guidance of English-born coach Gary White. Hong Kong qualified for their third appearance in the E-1 EAFF East Asia Cup finals. After a while, White left the role. Hong Kong Football History.

Football Association

In April 2019, the Hong Kong Football Association appointed Finnish-born Mixu Paatelainen. As the new head coach of the national football team for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and E-1 EAFF East Asia Cup Finals. However, after a poor performance, Mixo’s contract was not renewe.

On December 13, Norwegian Jorn Andersen, who had previously coached the North Korean national football team, was replace by Mixo Patilen. As the new head coach of the national football team in preparation for the third round of the 2023 Asian Cup finals. Nominated. Hong Kong Football History.

Hong Kong successfully qualified for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup after defeating Afghanistan and Cambodia. Returning to the final tournament after a 55-year absence. For more details click here