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LCQ16: Hard-surface soccer pitches under Leisure and Cultural Services Department
     Following is a question by Dr the Hon Pierre Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah, in the Legislative Council today (March 18):

     Regarding the hard-surface soccer pitches under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective current numbers of the three types of soccer pitches, i.e. (a) 5-a-side hard-surface soccer pitches, (b) 7-a-side hard-surface soccer pitches and (c) 11-a-side hard-surface soccer pitches, and set out the following information on each soccer pitch by type of soccer pitch in separate tables of the same format:

(i) the District Council district in which it is located,
(ii) name (for venues with more than one soccer pitch, provide also the relevant names (e.g. Soccer Pitch No. 1)),
(iiii) whether it is located indoors or outdoors,
(iv) size (length and width) (metres),
(v) utilisation rate in 2018,
(vi) utilisation rate in 2019,
(vii) whether or not the design is in compliance with the standards of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for international matches, and
(viii) whether or not the design is in compliance with the standards of FIFA for non-international matches;
(2) of the method for calculating the utilisation rates of hard-surface soccer pitches;
(3) of (a) the average number and percentage of cases in which hirers failed to take up booking sessions in respect of each of the aforesaid three types of hard-surface soccer pitches, and (b) the number of complaints received by the LCSD about suspected transfer of user permits or approval letters by hirers of hard-surface soccer pitches, in each of the past three years, together with statistics on (i) the default notice issued and (ii) the temporary suspension of the eligibility of the bodies concerned for priority venue booking, in respect of such cases by the LCSD; and
(4) whether there are on-site staff on duty in all hard-surface soccer pitches at present; if not, of the number of occasions, in each of the past three years, on which the LCSD deployed officers to those venues without on-site staff on duty for the purpose of verifying the identity of hirers?
     The reply to the question raised by Dr the Hon Pierre Chan is as follows:
(1) and (2) There are 234 outdoor hard-surface soccer pitches managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), including 55 5-a-side soccer pitches and 165 7-a-side soccer pitches as well as 14 7-a-side cum 5-a-side soccer pitches. There are only 11-a-side natural turf and artificial turf soccer pitches. No 11-a-side hard-surface soccer pitches are provided. Hard-surface soccer pitches are open to public use when they are not taken up by booking and therefore the usage rate of such facilities is not available. Information about each hard-surface soccer pitch is set out at Annex. Besides, the multi-purpose arenas of the sports centres managed by the LCSD, including Ma On Shan Sports Centre, Shek Kip Mei Park Sports Centre, Tseung Kwan O Sports Centre, Kowloon Park Sports Centre and Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre are available for block booking by organisations for futsal.
(3) and (4) The LCSD received nine complaints about touting activities involving hard-surface soccer pitches in the past three years. Since on-site staff is not available at all the hard-surface soccer pitches, the LCSD verifies the identity of hirers/hirer organisations of hard-surface soccer pitches mainly through venue inspections. Besides, the LCSD does not require its venue staff to keep record in relation to no-show of all outdoor hard-surface soccer pitches. Hence, the average no-show rate of these facilities is not available. LCSD staff inspected hard-surface soccer pitches (including venues without regular on-site staff) at least 1 600 times in the past three years. No unauthorised transfer of user permit/letter of approval was found during the inspections. Hence, the LCSD had neither served default notice to any hirer organisation nor suspended priority booking status of any organisation accordingly.
Ends/Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Issued at HKT 17:32
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