Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Donkin joins Taiwan squad, Chow does not

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

English-Taiwanese soccer player Tim Chow holds up his newly issued Republic of China passport in London on Thursday.

Photo: CNA

The Taiwan national soccer squad yesterday arrived in Doha, the capital of Qatar, for a week-long training camp to prepare for the side’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup match against Turkmenistan on Nov. 14, with manager Gary White announcing a 24-man squad which included two English-Taiwanese players, Tim Chow and Will Donkin.

Although Chow, a midfielder with Scottish Premiership side Ross County, did not show up, 17-year-old Donkin took a flight from London to join the squad.

A member of the English Premier League club Crystal Palace’s under-18 squad, Donkin was born in London to an English father and Taiwanese mother.

The players are to train in Qatar until Nov. 12, when they are due to fly to Turkmenistan for the crucial Asian Cup qualifier, which they need to win to advance from the group stage.

Local fans were in buoyant mood when Chow received his Republic of China passport at Taiwan’s representative office in London on Monday, where he said he “looked forward to joining the national team.”

However, the ebullient mood took a dramatic turn for the worse after a meeting with Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) officials earlier this week, due to disagreements over financial terms and other conditions.

“In spite of Chow’s hopes of joining Taiwan’s national team immediately, he felt he could not meet the coach’s expectations at the moment,” Taipei-based String Law Firm, which is representing Chow, said in a statement on Thursday.

Chow’s representative could not reach an agreement with the CTFA on appearance fees, as well as flight tickets and travel arrangements.

Local media reported that White wanted to give Chow a “trial” to see how he would fit into the squad, so the CTFA would only agree to issue an economy-class air ticket for Chow to join the squad on international duty.

“We know well of Chow’s ability, that he can play on this team and help to improve Taiwan soccer... but there is a process for a player to join a new team in which he has to pass a medical examination to determine his health and fitness,” White said yesterday.

CTFA secretary-general Chen Wei-jen yesterday confirmed that there were disagreements between the two sides at the meeting, but told reporters that Chow’s flight ticket had been changed to business class.

“We have done everything possible to register Chow’s eligibility with the AFC and now we are just waiting for him to consent and join the team,” Chen said.

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