This week in Hong Kong I got a unique chance to watch my first ever Unofficial Football World Championships title match. As a crazy football fan, I love this competition as an alternative to the FIFA World Cup. Unfortunately, until Sunday I never had the chance to see an actual UFWC match.
Thanks to a draw with Australia, North Korea remained champions going into Sunday’s match with Hong Kong. I’m currently living out at Ma Wan and headed over to Hong Kong Island for this spectacle. I was like a kid – all excited – check out the photo below and you’ll see what a ticket to the Unofficial World Cup Final looks like! A collector’s item (at least for me!).
It was taking place at the Hong Kong Stadium near Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. I made my way there with three others for a fantastic day out. Entrance was 80 Hong Kong Dollars (£6.40 UK, $10.30 USD) and well worth it. Hong Kong Stadium is magnificent. Nestled nicely in between two other sports stadiums, steep hills and gaping skyscrapers, this is certainly a venue with cracking views!
If you’ve been to Hong Kong you will know that skyscrapers are as much a part of the city’s culture as the traditional lunchtime meal Dim Sum. You can’t help but appreciate the views everywhere you go in Hong Kong and the area that houses the national stadium here is no different.
But it was all about the football and although Hong Kong kept the North Koreans at bay early on, the hosts succumbed to a 4-0 defeat. Hong Kong lacked the skill and strength but they had ideas and pace – and a few chances of their own. But clinical finishing and composure saw the North Koreans maintain their title of Unofficial Football World Champions.
I met up with a few North Korean fans, and I spoke at length to one of them to understand why and how they support North Korea. Interesting, and perhaps a story for another day. Well done to North Korea for remaining Unofficial Football World Champions, and roll on the next UFWC title match.
And while I’m at it, I come from Northern Ireland, and I hope we can win the UFWC again. Northern Ireland are 5 times winners and 29th in the all-time rankings. I’m looking forward to attending another UFWC title match someday!
Jonny Blair is a travelling Northern Irishman who is currently in Hong Kong. You can read his full report and see more photos and a video at his excellent travel blog Don’t Stop Living.
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