Sports Administration Director-General Lin Te-fu (林德福) yesterday outlined his goals to build the “best-ever” national baseball team and vowed to bring about sweeping reform in sports.
Lin told a news conference in Taipei that his top three objectives are to restructure government-sponsored sports associations, ensure transparency in their finances and assemble the best-ever national baseball team.
Nepotism is rife among sports associations, meaning that they are often controlled small groups with vested interests, but who do not necessarily possess the right knowledge to lead athletes, Lin said.
Professionals who lack connections are often shut out of associations, which is detrimental to boosting competitiveness, he said.
To solve this problem, the administration would seek to amend regulations governing articles of association to offer professionals fairer opportunities to contribute their expertise, he said.
One of the sports agency’s top policies would be to acquire the authority to investigate associations’ finances and having them published regularly, thereby ensuring that government subsidies have been properly used, he said.
This would put associations on alert and bring about constructive competition, he said, adding that the subsidies would be fairly distributed and free from undue influence.
Lin said he would solicit the backing of lawmakers to help the agency obtain the authority to supervise associations’ finances.
He said the agency would work to enlarge the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) from four to six teams and improve training methods to expand the nation’s talent pool.
Lin said that Taiwanese largely view baseball as the national sport and expanding the CPBL would help the game live up to that title.
He said he had initiated talks with CPBL president John Wu (吳志揚) regarding royalties parties have to pay to enter teams into the league and how they could sign players.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書), who hosted the news conference, praised Lin’s efforts to coordinate the CPBL and the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA) prior to his inauguration, which saw the CTBA agreeing to let the CPBL oversee preparations for the Premier 12 baseball tournment in 2019, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the 2021 World Baseball Classic.
Many challenges lie ahead before the nation’s sports sector can have a “happy ending,” Huang said.
Athletes, including tennis star Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) and badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎), have over the past year complained about their sport’s associations, indicating that they are in need of swift and sweeping reforms, Huang said.
CTBA officials confirmed that Lin had convened meetings with them and CPBL representatives.
The policy would see the CTBA manage second-tier international tournaments.
Additional reporting by Jason Pan