Hong Kong stadium is a multi-purpose sports stadium, located in So Kon Po, Hong Kong Island. This venue has hosted most of the international football games in Hong Kong. Apart from the football, this stadium also hosts sports such as rugby, cricket etc. Its capacity is 40,000 and is one of the few stadiums in the world with seating for disabled people.
Before reconstruction took place, it was a Government stadium with the capacity of 28,000 and was built in 1953. It was in the 1990’s, when Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club came up with a reconstruction plan so Hong Kong could also have a world-class sports venue.
After this move, the stadium was reconstructed and opened in 1994. But still the owners of the stadium, the Urban Council were disappointed because pitch was not up to the mark and was criticised by several local football officials.
Even Manchester United manager of that time, Alex Ferguson said, "The pitch is cutting up. The surface is just sand-based and the turf doesn't hold well. Injuries can occur."
Currently, the Hong Kong Stadium is managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong.
Bledisloe Cup, which was played only in New Zealand and Australia, came here and the venue became first stadium outside of Australia or New Zealand to host a match of the Bledisloe Cup. On 1 November 2008, a match of Bledisloe Cup was played here, in which Australia had lost to New Zealand by 14-19.
On 15 May 2016, Hong Kong Stadium hosted the final of 2015–16 Hong Kong FA Cup between Hong Kong Pegasus and Yuen Long. The match ended up in a tie, after which Hong Kong Pegasus won the match by 4-3 on penalty shootout.
Apart from rugby and football, stadium has also hosted cricket. A cricket tournament named Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes was held here.
The stadium was surrounded by controversies when pitch of the stadium was criticised by football fans around the world in 2013. Matija Nastasic, a Manchester United player was injured during a match against Sunderland.
After the incident, Manchester United refused to attend a training session at the stadium over safety concerns and the manager of Tottenham Hotspur claimed that if he’d had a choice, he wouldn’t have let his team set foot on the sodden pitch.
Recently, the games of 2017 Premier League Asia Trophy were played here.
In the semi-finals, Leicester City beat West Bromwich Albion on penalties by 7-6 and headed towards the final where it faced Liverpool. Liverpool had defeated Crystal Palace by 2-0 in the second semifinal.
Liverpool emerged as a winner after beating Leicester City by 2-1 in the finals of the tournament.
Several games of Hong Kong Premier League were also held here, including one on 20 November between Hong Kong Pegasus and Tai Po and other between Hong Kong Pegasus and Dreams FC. HK Pegasus was the winner in both games.
The final of 2017–18 Hong Kong FA Cup will be played here on 26 May 2018.