The Hong Kong national football team played its first international fixture in 1949. It was a colony of the United Kingdom. This situation continued after the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to Chinese rule. China’s law follows a ‘one country, two systems’ approach to colonies. This allows them to compete independently in international events.
Hong Kong tested China’s attitude in the 1986 world cup qualifying rounds. They beat China in the last game of the first round, knocking them out of the competition. Hong Kong were then defeated by Japan in the knock-out stages.
Hong Kong’s recorded defeat is 7-0. They have managed to ‘achieve’ this feat on three separate occasions; twice to China and once to Paraguay.
A long time entrant to world cup qualifying, Hong Kong have never reached the tournament proper. A steady decline has halted in recent years. The team enjoyed better individual qualifying results but show no sign of progression beyond the very early stages.