Wed, Aug 16, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Taipei Universiade: Universiade says it respects Uganda’s China position

TWEET TWEET:An official said the Ugandan team, which plans to send 48 athletes, was ordered not to attend the Games, but then retracted his post as an ‘overreaction’

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A letter from the Ugandan government advising the nation’s athletes not to attend the Taipei Summer Universiade is shown yesterday in a tweet posted by Ugandan sport official Norman Katende.

Screenshot from Norman Katende’s Twitter account

The Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee said it respects each delegation’s decision to attend the Games after a tweet indicated that Uganda might not attend because its government conforms to Beijing’s “one China” policy.

Norman Katende, who was director of media communications at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala, said in a tweet that the Ugandan team had been ordered not to attend because of their country’s adherence to the “one China” policy.

Katende included an image that he said was a photograph of a directive from the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ugandan Ministry of Education advising the national team not to attend the Universiade.

The Universiade organizing committee had received a submission from Uganda, which was planning to send 48 athletes to compete in five different events.

The committee has reached out to understand the situation and the Uganda team is still deliberating, Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee spokesman Yang Ching-tang (楊景棠) said yesterday.

“The committee will make good preparations and respect all qualified delegations’ decision on joining the Games,” he said.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said at a news briefing yesterday that Ugandan athletes are still discussing with their government whether to take part as scheduled.

At 3:50pm yesterday, Katende replied to his post, saying: “We will have Team Uganda at the Games,” and tagged Makerere University Sports and Recreation Department head Peninah Kabenge, saying that she has confirmed the decision.

Kabenge retweeted Katende’s post and added: “Finally sorted out. Overreaction and misunderstanding cleared up.”

Meanwhile, responding to a media report claiming that about 10 teams might not attend the Games, Yang yesterday said that the registration for the Games includes several stages, so delegations that said “yes” in the participation intention survey are not necessarily qualified.

“The committee received 152 participation intention responses, but they must be further qualified to attend the Games,” he said. “For example, the athletes’ scores must reach a given standard and they must be within their age limit.

The actual number of teams and athletes would be announced with the finalized match schedule, he added.

Additional reporting by CNA

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