The Hong Kong Government has demanded a full inquiry after a popular protest song associated with pro- democracy protests was played at a sporting event instead of the Chinese national anthem.
The song called ‘Glory to Hong Kong’, was played at a rugby sevens match held in Incheon, South Korea last Sunday.
A statement released by Asia rugby says that the song was played by mistake after being downloaded off the internet and that it “deeply regrets the incident of the wrong national anthem being played”
It continues, “Asia Rugby and Korea Rugby Union would like to sincerely apologise to the Hong Kong Rugby Union, the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for this incident”.
It said the incident was due to “simple human error from a junior member of the local organising committee”, and that a Post the final match and prior to the awards ceremony, “a public apology was announced in the stadium in Korean and English languages”.
The song became the anthem of the 2019 demonstrations and was sung at football matches as attendees refused to participate in the playing of the Chinese national anthem.
The eruption of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong was triggered by the Chinese Communist Party’s decision to allow extradition of suspects to the mainland.
Under the “one country, two systems” policy where Hong Kong was allowed to keep a limited amount of civil liberties not available to mainland Chinese after the British relinquished control of the former colony in 1997.
The BBC reported, “The extradition bill which triggered the first protest was introduced in April. It would have allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China under certain circumstances.”
Those in opposition to the bill feared that it would expose Hong Kong’s citizen’s to “unfair trial and violent treatment”, while giving China the power to potentially target journalists and activists.