Mon, Jul 11, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Taiwanese baseball team accused of throwing game

CHINESE PROTEST:Taiwan beat the Philippines once and China twice in group games, but a second-string side lost on Friday, leading to China missing out on the final

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan under-18 baseball team was accused of throwing a game last week, with protests from their Chinese opponents prompting organizers to schedule an additional game yesterday ahead of today’s Little League Baseball Asia-Pacific Regional Tournament in Nanjing, China, that was postponed.

Chinese officials accused Taiwan of contriving to lose against the Philippines in a game last week, with the defeat meaning China missed out on the final.

Taiwan, represented by Taoyuan’s Ping Jen Senior High School, faced China and the Philippines in the three-team competition for the right to represent the Asia-Pacific Region at the little league under-18 finals in the US.

Taiwan trounced China 11-1 in seven innings yesterday.

The game was added after Chinese officials filed a complaint with organizers, saying that Taiwan deliberately started second-string players to “throw the game” on Friday. The 4-2 loss moved the Philippines into the final.

Organizers released a statement saying Taiwan had “violated the spirit of the sport,” ruling that an additional game would be played between the cross-strait rivals, with the winner to meet the Philippines in the final.

Organizers also barred Taiwan’s coaches from the dugout for the games yesterday and today, with only officials from the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA) allowed to run the side.

The incident sparked controversy in Taiwan’s baseball community, with some saying the team selection was shameful in that it amounted to coaches telling kids to “lose on purpose,” while others said it was cheating and another stain on questionable practices in Taiwanese baseball.

Others said that an explanation by Ping Jen head coach Wu Po-hung (吳柏宏) — that he was only adjusting his line-up to rest starters and regular pitchers, since they would be called on for the title game — was acceptable.

“We never told our players to play badly and lose to the Philippines. The second-stringers put up their best effort and had a good game, but unfortunately the Philippines had a better performance and they beat us,” Wu said.

“We definitely did not try to lose on purpose,” he said. “If they accuse us of doing so, they have to present evidence, but they did not. All we got was an official who walked over to our team and told us that we had violated the spirit of the game and had to play an extra game against China. He ... left right away. We did not even get a chance to appeal the decision.”

Prior to Friday, Taiwan had qualified for the regional final after defeating the Philippines 10-0 and downing China twice, 4-1 and 5-2. In Game 1 on Thursday, the Philippines edged China 1-0, but the hosts won 7-1 in Saturday’s second game between the two.

CTBA officials said they would convene a technical committee meeting to review the matter and could hand out more disciplinary measures against the coaches.

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