In recent years, many African players have traveled across the sea to Hong Kong to develop their football career. It is not easy for them to survive in the Hong Kong football circle. There were many misunderstandings because of language barriers.
However, there are also some players who made a name for themselves in Hong Kong, and even naturalized in Hong Kong to become members of the representative team. Among them, Festus Baise, Godfred Karikari,Alexander Oluwatayo Akande, Jean-Jacques Kilama, Mahama Awal, etc. are widely loved and supported by fans. Whether you like them or not, African players have become an integral part of Hong Kong football. In addition to the top league, there are also many African players in other teams.
3 Sing, a topical team that has swept the 2nd and 3rd dev. leagues in the past two years and has been unbeaten for two consecutive seasons, is about to be promoted to the 1 dev. league. Two non-Chinese players in the team, Caleb and Valdo Tita, have played in the top league. Among them, Tita from Cameroon used to play for TM Progoal and BC Rangers and has been in Hong Kong for more than ten years.
The story of Tita, a Cameroonian-Jamaican mixed race, began in 2005. At that time, a football agent told him that Asian football was the springboard to European football, so Dida traveled far away, thinking of developing in mainland China at first. The team I joined at the time was based in Dongguan and participated in the Hong Kong First Division League. However, after playing many friendly matches for the team, when I was planning to enter Hong Kong to play, I found that the team did not apply for a visa for him. He was in arrears of wages and moved to Macau to leave work. During his time playing for Kai I, he assisted the team in winning the Macau First Division Championship and the FA Cup.
At the end of 2008, TM Progoal, which directly joined 1st dev. league from 3rd dev. league, had a low performance. At that time they noticed Tita’s performance.
“Mr. Yam (Yam Wai Hung, Director of TM Progoal) asked me to come to have a trial, so I processed the visa to come to Hong Kong by myself, and then participated in the friendly match. I performed well against Happy Vally and scored two goals; During the New Year, I went to mainland China to play another game with them and won 3:1, and then I got a contract with Progoal. This is my first experience in Hong Kong.”
Tita started to play in Hong Kong, but after a period of time, the team began to owe her salary, and the team also had various problems: “I don’t know too much, these things are told by the ICAC…At that time, the whole team It was not a good experience to be invited to the ICAC to assist with the investigation.”
Progoal was disqualified in the following season. Dida then joined Fourway Rangers: “There were several Cameroonians playing for Rangers, including Guy Junior Ondoua and Kilama, so I also joined and fight to build a strong team.” Tita played in Hong Kong and Macau every level of league, but also working as a football coach and personal trainer.
Tita has played for many teams and has participated in all levels of competition in Hong Kong. Maybe some people don’t like him because of his resume, but he doesn’t care much about outside opinions. He still maintains the habit of daily training and has also obtained a football coaching license. At the same time, in order to adapt to life in Hong Kong, in addition to being a coach, he also tried to engage in different industries such as actor in Hong Kong, hoping to understand the life and culture of Hong Kong. But for him, football is still his most serious and devoted industry.
“No matter what group of games, I will participate…Football is not an easy thing, the most important thing is your mindstep, if you still want to improve, no matter what level of game you play, old, young, these things don’t matter. Be serious every time at work.”
Always be Ready
Starting in 2021, Dida has formed the African United Football Club with a group of players from all over the world in HK and some of them are refugees. They practice twice a week and are currently participating in private leagues. In the photos on their social media platforms, you will see many familiar figures: for example, the coach is Julius Pongla Akosah, a famous player who played for Sun Hei, Eastern AA and other clubs. He was once a big hit in the millennium. Awal, who has been naturalized and played for KC Southern earlier, and Kilama, who has played for many HKPL teams, have also trained with AUFC. Last year, AUFC also played against the Hong Kong Premier League club BC Rangers. Tita served as the captain of the team.
“This team wants to connect players from all around the world. Some players may not be able to participate in the team in Hong Kong. He can come to our team to practice and maintain his confidence, and then he will be ready to return to professional football at any time. Team. This team can keep some players alive with hope of being A professional footballer in future.”
“This is not just a platform for Africans. We also have players from Chinese and other places. This is a platform for mutual assistance. We are named as African United just because we are from afar.”
There have been teams of similar nature in Hong Kong in the past, but due to various reasons they failed to succeed. Tita emphasized that he will do all the administrative work well this time, so that the team can continue to operate even if the team has completely different players in the future.
“We want to be more offical and let the government know what we are doing. I hope that we can get some sponsorship for the team in the future, such as renting the stadium for practice, buying water, etc. It’s just the second year of our team. We hope we can do well preperation and join the HKFA official league in 2026.”
We are Victims
Having played for many teams in Hong Kong for many years, would he advise his fellow countrymen to come to Hong Kong for development? “I wouldn’t suggest that, we’re already victims.”
A team once signed a contract with Tita, but when he returned to Hong Kong from vacation, the other party canceled the contract due to insufficient funds. He believes that the Hong Kong football environment is very complicated:
“If you really want to develop your football career, Hong Kong is not the right place. Of course, if he insists on playing football in Hong Kong, it’s no use telling him not to come. He can always gain some experience in Hong Kong.”
He believes that if there was a platform like AUFC, his experience would be different: “We can meet other players on this platform, and they can tell you a lot of useful information that you don’t know, such as you should not Which teams to join.”
But Tita did not regret coming to Hong Kong to develop. Outside of football, he is used to life in Hong Kong. As far as he is concerned, he will continue to practice and compete every week, and provide football training for children in the community. In addition, I also hope to continue to support those football players who choose to develop in Hong Kong through platforms such as AUFC and others.
“Seeing the smiling faces of other people enjoying football makes me happy.”
|Pro team||Lanwa （2005-2006）|
Porto em Macau（2012）
Wong Tai Sin（2013-2014）
Yau Tsim Mong（2015-2016）
Wong Tai Sin（2017-2019）