Leung Nok-exclusion hang’s provided a blow to Hong Kong following Japan’s humiliation in the EAFF Championship.

Due to an ankle injury, a versatile Zhejiang defender will not be joining Jorn Andersen’s team.

Hong Kong will play South Korea in Nagoya on Sunday before facing China the following Wednesday.

Hong Kong suffered another setback as central defender Leung Nok-hang decided to withdraw from the EAFF Championship after their humbling 6-0 loss to hosts Japan on Tuesday night in their opening match.

It was believed that Leung, a star for Zhejiang, would help Jorn Andersen’s defence in the two games left against South Korea and China. However, the ankle ailment that kept the Chinese Super League player from joining the club.

Leung, who missed Tuesday’s game while also awaiting a visa to enter Japan, said that he had damaged his ankle while playing for Zhejiang and that the doctors had instructed him to rest for at least 10 days.

“My club and the Hong Kong team have both received a medical report outlining the scenario. I must now wait until the Asian Cup in the following year before I may once more wear the Hong Kong colours.

The 27-year-old has been a go-to option in defence for Hong Kong, appearing in both the Asian zone qualifying for the 2022 World Cup and the 2019 EAFF Championship in Busan, South Korea.

Along with other players who play for mainland China’s national teams, he did not travel to India for last month’s Asian Cup qualifiers due to pressure from his clubs, according to reports.

Early in 2021, Leung transferred from Meizhou Hakka to Zhejiang Greentown for a transfer fee of reportedly HK$12 million, setting a record for a Hong Kong player.

Leung Kwun-chung, his older brother, plays mostly as a left back for Eastern Long Lions in the Hong Kong Premier League and is also a part of the national squad.

Vas Nunez, a centre defender from Meizhou, made his international debut for Hong Kong against Japan on Tuesday. He was upset with the outcome but pleased with his accomplishment nonetheless.


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