Sports Administration Director-General Ho Jow-fei (何卓飛) yesterday lauded the contributions of the nation’s sports officials after businessman Thomas Tsai (蔡辰威) threatened to quit as chairman of the Chinese Taipei Athletics Association and urged the heads of individual sports organizations to leave their posts as well.
Tsai, who headed the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee from 2006 to 2014 and is an honorary chairman of the committee, has been bristling at the public criticism that has hounded the nation’s sports bodies in the wake of controversies involving Taiwanese athletes and sports officials during last month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Media reports have focused on the Taiwanese team’s disappointing performance at the Games — winning only one gold and two bronze medals — which some blamed on disputes between athletes and sports officials over financial subsidies, restrictions relating to sponsorship deals, players’ rights and squabbles over the decisionmaking process.
Photo: Cho Chia-ping, Taipei Times
Surprised at Tsai’s announcement, Ho sought to reassure Tsai and the heads of other sports bodies, praising their contributions to sports development in the nation.
“They have personally put in a lot of effort and made financial contributions to the development of sports [in the nation], and therefore deserve credit and recognition for what they have done,” Ho said.
“However, some media outlets, political pundits and netizens have criticized them with no justifiable reason or factual basis,” Ho said. “There is a need for reform of sport policies, but we must proceed with caution. If not, we might hurt those who have contributed so much to our sports programs.”
However, some say that Tsai’s move was an attempt to apply pressure on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, as following the controversies and debacle at the Rio Olympics, many pan-green camp legislators and their supporters have called for an overhaul of the nation’s outdated sports administration system.
Commentators said that Tsai and the heads of other sports associations, who are mostly connected to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), were firing their salvos after being put in a defensive position by public criticism in the battle for control over the nation’s sports bodies and the accompanying power and financial benefits.
Tsai is seen as an influential figure in the nation’s sports program. He is said to have contacted the heads of several other associations to discuss resigning en masse in protest against the DPP government’s push for reforms in sports governance and policies.
A member of the Tsai family that owns the Lin Yuan Group (霖園集團) and Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), Thomas Tsai is representative of the rich businesspeople and industry leaders who head most of the nation’s sports bodies.
In their capacity as chairperson, they lend stability to an organization’s operation by providing financial support from their own enterprises, generate revenue sources, or solicit contributions from industry and business colleagues, as most amateur sports bodies receive little funding from the government.
Another group of sports chiefs are politicians — mainly veteran officials and KMT stalwarts. These include Chinese Professional Baseball League commissioner John Wu (吳志揚), Chinese Taipei Baseball Association chairman Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井), Chinese Taipei Basketball Association chairman Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) and Chinese Taipei Road Running Association chairman Tsao Erh-chung (曹爾忠), who are all former KMT legislators.
Critics have said that former KMT administrations’ practice of appointing their own people in these positions has turned sports development into a tangled political-business network, with these organizations becoming their personal fiefdoms.
They said this has resulted in corrupt practices, financial scandals, dictatorial decisionmaking and undue political influence at the expense of athletes’ interests.
Ho outlined a number of initiatives for reform in sports policies, adding that more details would be discussed at a national conference on amateur sports in Taipei today.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to