Mark Sutcliffe, CEO of the HKFA, plans to lobby FIFA to accept the permanent resident ID card as proof of nationality. This would definitely increase the talent pool, but also level the playing field. Right now, non-local players need to wait at least more than 7 years (but often even longer) before being able to obtain the necessary HK passport (and be willing to revoke their own nationality at the same time).
However, according to FIFA regulations, only 5 years of residency are required for foreign players to represent other national teams (provided they haven’t represented their own national team before).
If the HKFA fails in lobbying FIFA, Mark Sutcliffe plans to talk to the Hong Kong Immigration Department directly for facilitating a “sporting passport” that can simplify and fasten the process for valuable talents. We are excited to see some serious strategies and policy suggestions by the HKFA.