A rugby sevens match in South Korea turned into an international incident.

On Sunday, the 2022 Asia Rugby Sevens Series concluded with its men’s final in Incheon, South Korea. The series wrapped up with a match between Hong Kong and the host nation, South Korea. Before the match even began through, a controversy stirred up.

Via CNN, “The Hong Kong government on Monday demanded an investigation after a song associated with the city’s pro-democracy movement was played instead of the Chinese national anthem before a rugby sevens match between Hong Kong and South Korea.”

It continued, “Event organizers played an instrumental version of ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ as the teams lined up for the men’s final of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series in Incheon, South Korea on Sunday.”

Guardian Sport provided a video of the incident on YouTube.

The song is the city’s unofficial protest anthem. Pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong began in 2019. The song’s playing stirred up strong reactions. And it was all from a simple error. According to CNN, “The match’s local organizer, Korea Rugby Union (KRU), told CNN the mistake occurred when a worker searched online for a Hong Kong anthem and added the top result to a folder labeled ‘Hong Kong.’ The broadcast played the music file in the Hong Kong folder instead of the one labeled ‘China.'”

The KRU apologized while the Hong Kong Rugby Union was not as lenient. Per a statement, “The HKRU expressed its extreme dissatisfaction at this occurrence and has received a full explanation of the circumstances that led to this. Whilst we accept this was a case of human error it was nevertheless not acceptable. The HKRU has registered our deepest concern and regret over this incident.”

[CNN, Guardian Sport]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022