Tiers – First Division.
Cup competitions – The League Cup, the Senior Challenge Shield and the HKFA Cup.
Other competitions – None.
Hong Kong’s links with England and China are well represented in FM with the bulk of the league’s players being either English/Hong Kong dual nationals or Chinese imports; mix in the odd Brazilian and African import and the league begins to take on something of a cosmopolitan feel. While not as financially poor as the Indian league, Hong Kong’s football clubs are by no means as rich as clubs from other areas of Asia, particularly Australia. A unique and somewhat peculiar situation exists in Hong Kong whereby teams don’t own their own stadia and matches are played at regional grounds which are shared by a number of teams. With this in mind you’re unlikely to see much in the way of stadium development; though youth and training facilities, being independent of the stadium, are still upgradeable.
The First Division.
Hong Kong’s top division consists of just ten teams who play each other twice over the course of a season (eighteen games in total). Wins are rewarded with three points while draws result in a point. Teams tied on points are separated by head to head results, goal difference and goals scored. At the end of the season the bottom two clubs are relegated.
Squad rules are a little complicated in Hong Kong due largely to the fact that Hong Kong is now a part of China. The squad as a whole may contain up to six foreign and six Chinese players though all of these may not be included in the match-day squad. The match-day squad must comprise no more than seven foreigners including any Chinese players, and no more than four foreigners excluding any Chinese players. Match-day squads must also consist of seven substitutes of which three may take to the field. Hong Kong has just one transfer window which runs from early-June to mid-April.
Player discipline is becomes progressively stricter as a player’s bookings begin to mount up. The first five yellow cards are punished by a one-match ban, with each subsequent set of five yellow cards adding one-match to the ban length (i.e. the ten yellow cards results in a two-match ban and the fifteenth is punished with a three match ban etc). Each and every red card is punished with a standard one-match ban.
The League Cup.
The First Round of the League Cup is played in groups with the ten First Division clubs being split between two groups. Each team plays the other sides in its group once and the top-two teams from each group qualify for the Semi-Finals. Should teams be level on points they will be separated by goal difference, goals scored and finally the number of games won.
Both the Semi-Finals and the Final of the League Cup are one-off matches that must produce a winner and with this in mind extra-time and penalties will be used to settle and matches that are level after 90 minutes.
Match-day squad and disciplinary rules are the same as those for the First Division.
The Senior Challenge Shield.
The Senior Challenge Shield is a traditional knock-out cup competition in the mould of the FA Cup. The only clubs to take part are the ten First Division clubs and this means that six are automatically given a bye to the Quarter Final to meet the winners of the clubs taking part in the First Round. The competition rules do not allow for replays and any drawn matches are settled by extra-time and penalties.
Match-day squads and disciplinary rules follow the First Division rules.
The Hong Kong FA Cup.
The Hong Kong FA Cup follows exactly the same set of rules as the Senior Challenge Shield.