HK coach upset he can’t pick mainland-based players

Hong Kong football head coach Jorn Andersen said on Tuesday he’s disappointed that he’s been unable to call up three players based on the mainland.

He alleged that the clubs of centre backs Leung Nok-hang and Vas Nunez and forward Sandro have “pressured them” into signing a letter saying they don’t want to join up with the SAR team.

“National teams have the rights to players, everywhere. Fifa supports national teams. The Chinese clubs don’t care,” Andersen told reporters after the team’s practice in Hong Kong, as they prepare for the Asian Cup qualifiers next month.

“Because you have to [spend] four weeks in quarantine, it’s not possible.”

He added he feels that the players wanted to play for Hong Kong and this development is a big problem for the SAR’s football, noting that this was the second time he couldn’t call up his top players based on the mainland.

“I can understand, I was a player, a national player too. The players are a bit scared because they take money from the clubs, not here with us,” Andersen said.

He noted the team have an instant messaging chat group and they’ve been in close contact, and the players concerned have recently indicated they still want to join up with the SAR squad.

The team is scheduled to fly to Thailand for training next week.