British lawmakers urge EAOC to reverse decision - Taipei Times
Fri, Aug 03, 2018 - Page 1 News List

British lawmakers urge EAOC to reverse decision

Staff writer, with CNA

British lawmaker Nigel Evans, left, presents a gift to President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei on Sept. 22 last year.

Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office

A pro-Taiwan British parliamentary group on Wednesday urged the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) to reinstate Taichung’s right to host next year’s East Asian Youth Games as quickly as possible.

British lawmaker Nigel Evans and British House of Lords Deputy Speaker Dennis Rogan made the call in a statement regarding the committee’s decision to revoke Taichung’s right to host the Games.

“As the cochairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, we are dismayed to learn that members of the East Asian Olympic Committee voted in an extraordinary council meeting in Beijing on 24 July to revoke the right of Taichung City to host the first-ever East Asian Youth Games in Taiwan from 24 to 31 August in 2019,” the statement said.

According to the group’s Web site, it consists of 49 members of the House of Lords and 83 members of the British House of Commons.

The move not only hurts the rights of the athletes from the region, but also goes against the Olympic spirit and breaches the EAOC’s constitution, the statement said.

“This resolution not only ignores the rights of the 2,300 athletes and delegation members from the nine countries and regions in East Asia, but also violates the Olympic spirit that athletes from countries and regions around the world should conduct exchanges through fair competition. It also violates the EAOC’s constitution, which stipulates ‘to promote the Olympic movement in East Asia’ as its mission,” the statement said.

Taichung has over the past three years been preparing for the Games, in line with the contract it signed with the committee, which failed to provide a reason for its decision to revoke the city’s right to host the event, the statement added.

“Moreover, the Taichung City Government has always honored the host city contract and has not been informed of any failures to fulfill any of its contractual obligations over the past three years. Also, the EAOC never mentioned what terms were allegedly violated in the letter sent to the Taichung City Government on 25 July,” the statement said.

The world of sports has no borders, and athletic exchanges are the ideal venue to help nations and peoples get to know each other and promote international harmony, it said.

“Since being awarded the hosting right in 2014, the Taichung City Government has been preparing for the [Games]. With the date of the competition approaching, China’s boycott to pressure the EAOC into passing a resolution to cancel the Games is hasty and extremely unfair to the host city,” the statement said

“From the recent case of pressuring international airlines to change Taiwan’s designation to this unfair resolution made by the EAOC, it is obvious that China’s politically motivated pressure has expanded to nonpolitical areas,” it said.

“Thus, in order to protect the rights of athletes, as well as safeguard the Olympic spirit, there is a need for the EAOC council to resolve this dispute with Taiwan through amicable consultation and resume the hosting right of Taichung City as soon as possible,” it added.

Representative to the UK David Lin (林永樂) has conveyed his deep appreciation to Evans and Rogan and other members of the group for their long-term support of Taiwan in the international community.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) on Monday said that he has submitted a petition to the EAOC, asking it to reinstate the city’s right to host the Games as scheduled next year.

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