LCQ 20: Promotion of futsal in Hong Kong
Some members of the sports community have pointed out that futsal has become increasingly popular in Asia and even around the world, and has been listed as one of the events of the Youth Olympic Games in summer 2018 and the East Asian Youth Games in 2019. However, as futsal in Hong Kong has not gained enough attention from the Government and the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA), the development of the sport is hindered by the lack of facilities and policy support. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it knows the respective current rankings in the world and in Asia for the Men Team and the Women Team of the Hong Kong Futsal Representative Team in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA);
(2) whether it has studied the development of futsal in Hong Kong and how it compares with that in the neighbouring countries/regions; if so, of the outcome; if not, whether it will expeditiously commission a consultancy study on this;
(3) of the following information on each of the futsal pitches currently managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) (set out in a table):
(ii) located indoors or outdoors,
(iii) length and width of the pitch,
(iv) pitch surfacing materials,
(v) which of the following cases applies: installed with boundary fencing which also serves as rebound walls, installed with independent boundary fencing and rebound walls, or with none of these two facilities,
(vi) whether or not the pitch is in compliance with FIFA's standards for non-international matches,
(vii) whether or not the pitch is in compliance with FIFA's standards for international matches, and
(viii) construction cost;
(4) whether it knows the respective numbers and year-on-year changes, in each of the past five years, of futsal (i) players, (ii) coaches (including holders of certificates of various levels of coaching issued by HKFA and the Asian Football Confederation) and (iii) referees, who were registered with HKFA;
(5) of (i) the details of the promotional efforts dedicated to futsal made by the authorities (including such efforts' effectiveness and expenses), and (ii) the total attendance of players and spectators in the futsal matches organised or sponsored by LCSD, in each of the past five years; and
(6) whether the authorities will, in the coming five years, construct new futsal pitches, or convert existing futsal pitches into ones, which meet FIFA's standards for international matches; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
(1) At present, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have not set up world ranking or Asian ranking for men or women's futsal teams.
(2) In 2013, the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) used Government funding to employ a Futsal Manager, together with the Football Development Director and his team, to promote and develop Futsal in Hong Kong. The specific tasks include:
(a) set up the Futsal League in 2013-14. The number of participating teams has increased from the then 6 teams to a total of 11 teams in the First and Second Divisions in the current season (2016-17 season);
(b) with the support of Hong Kong Jockey Club, promote futsal in schools. In 2016-17, over 250 teams of nearly 4 000 students participated in the Jockey Club Futsal Cup (School Division);
(c) in "NIKE Five 2017", a total of 3 600 male and female players competed in 10 event groups;
(d) set up futsal teams of different age groups, including Men's, Women's, Men's under 20, Boy's under 16, Boy's under 14 and Boy's under 12 years; and
(e) provide resources for the training of coaches, referees and sports administrators to support the continued development of futsal.
The number of players participating in the futsal activities organised by HKFA has been increasing in recent years, from about 16 000 in 2015-16 season to nearly 19 000 in early 2017. In recent years, HKFA has also sent teams to participate in international competitions, including the AFC Men's under 20 Futsal Competition in Thailand in this May, in which Hong Kong Team had a record of 2 wins and 2 losses, ranking the third in the Group.
At school level, nearly 200 teams participated in the futsal competition organised by the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation (HKSSF) in the 2016/17 school year, an increase of 14% when compared to the previous year. In addition, led by the HKSSF, the futsal team participated in the National Youth "Future Star" Sunshine Sports Games and attained a bronze and a gold medal in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Since the implementation of the Five-Year Strategic Plan in 2015 by HKFA, futsal has been under development. HKFA will continue the efforts in the promotion of futsal and keep close attention to its development in neighbouring regions.
(3) There are 72 futsal pitches managed by Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). Relevant information is set out at the Annex.
(4) Over the past five years, the numbers and year-on-year changes of futsal players, coaches and referees registered with HKFA are shown below:
|Registered Number of Players||Not Applicable
|Registered Number of Coaches||15||34 (+126.7%)||47 (+38.2%)||72 (+53.2%)||75 (+4.2%)|
|Registered Number of Referees||82||113 (+37.8%)||120 (+6.2%)||125 (+4.2%)||133 (+6.4%)|
(5) LCSD has been striving to promote the "Sports for All" in the community and to organise various sports events. During the past five years, LCSD has organised 157 futsal activities, including Fun Days, training courses and matches, attracting 7 675 participants, with a total expenditure of $1,759,500. Among these events, the biennial Hong Kong Games (HKG) is a territory-wide major multi-sport event with the 18 District Councils as participating units. Futsal is one of the eight sports of HKG. The futsal matches in HKG attract huge spectators, reaching 8 000 spectators in last two HKGs (in 2013 and 2015).
In addition, LCSD also provides annual subvention to HKFA under the Sports Subvention Scheme to support its promotion and development of local football. During the past five years, LCSD provided funding support to HKFA in organising 588 futsal activities, including school sports promotion, various district matches, squad training and competition with a total of 41 629 participants, and the total subvention amounts to $6,873,000.
(6) Of the 72 futsal pitches under the management of LCSD, 41 pitches comply with the FIFA's standards and, among them, 25 pitches also meet the standards for international matches. The Hong Kong Housing Authority is carrying out the re-provisioning work of a futsal pitch at the Northwest Kowloon Reclamation Site 6, Sham Shui Po. The pitch will comply with the FIFA's standards after the re-provisioning work.
Moreover, there are two works projects under planning, namely the re-development of the Lam Wah Street Playground, Kwun Tong and Hoi Bun Road Park, Kwun Tong, which include improvement works of the futsal pitches for meeting FIFA's standards. Upon completion of the improvement works, the futsal pitch at Lam Wah Street Playground will comply with the standards for international matches. For these two projects, the Government will consult the relevant Panels of the Legislative Council and seek funding approval from the Finance Committee in accordance with the prevailing mechanism.
Ends/Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:10
Issued at HKT 19:10