(AFP) – Feb 27, 2008
HONG KONG (AFP) — Hong Kong's legion of David Beckham fans may be in for a disappointment after the city's football authorities said Wednesday they had not given approval for the star and his club to play here.
The Los Angeles Galaxy said Monday they would play an exhibition match March 9 at the Hong Kong Stadium, and tickets are already being advertised on the Internet.
But the general secretary of the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) said Wednesday the Galaxy were still in talks with several football teams in the southern Chinese territory.
"They have verbally told us about their plan, but we are still waiting for them to submit a formal request," Sunny Leung told AFP. "We have not approved the game but we are not ruling it out either."
Leung said the Hong Kong Stadium had already been booked for March 9, but the team were still hoping to come.
The HKFA have given the Galaxy until Thursday afternoon to sort out the problem.
"I told them to give us an answer by tomorrow afternoon, otherwise it'll be too late to do it, they would have to cancel it because we wouldn't have time to deal with it," said Leung, adding the association would do their best to facilitate the game.
"We are really accommodating. It is our mission to promote Hong Kong football in the world. We'll try to help the best to do it," he said.
If the match goes ahead, it will be the third and final game of a Galaxy exhibition tour of Asia, which begins next week and aims to tap into Beckham's huge popularity in the region.
The game will follow matchups against FC Seoul in Seoul, South Korea on March 1 and Shanghai-Hong Kong United in Shanghai, China on March 5.
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