Sat, Apr 14, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan soccer leagues launch tough competition

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Football Premier League officials and players yesterday attend a season launch conference at the Taipei Municipal Stadium in Taipei.

Photo: Lin Yueh-fu, Taipei Times

The Taiwan Football Premier League season begins this weekend, with Tatung in the men’s league and Taichung Blue Whale in the women’s league seeking to retain their titles.

In the men’s league, a revamped schedule sees the season divided into three segments, with eight teams playing a total of 84 matches from this month until September.

Playoffs are to follow the regular season, with the winner taking the title and NT$700,000.

The runners-up are to receive NT$200,000 and third place NT$100,000.

“For Taiwan soccer to progress to the next level, we need to upgrade the league with better and more comprehensive management. Our goal is to develop a fully professional soccer league, while developing more talents at the grassroots level,” Chinese Taipei Football Association chairman Lin Yung-cheng said.

The FC Taicheng Lions are newcomers to the men’s league after qualifying last year. Their 3-2 victory over Ming Chuan University saw Ming Chuan relegated, and the Lions’ 17-0 win over Bear Bro Yilan saw them enter the top division.

This season, the Lions have a core team of foreigners from Latin America, Europe and Africa joining local players, and along with the Royal Blues are among two expatriate teams in the league.

Officials from both teams said they plan to develop more local talents by establishing youth academies so there are more local players in coming years.

Opening matches are to be held at the Taipei Municipal Stadium tomorrow, with National Sports Training Center taking on Taiwan Sports University at 1pm, Royal Blues to face FC Hang Yuen at 3pm, the Lions to face Kaohsiung County Taipower FC at 5pm and Tatung to face Tainan City at 7pm.

In the women’s Taiwan Mulan Football League at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City, defending champions Taichung Blue Whale today take on Hualien City at 2pm and Inter Taipei FC face Taipei PlayOne at 4pm.

For the second round of women’s soccer at Taichung’s Taiyuan Field on Saturday next week, Kaohsiung Sunny Bank are to meet Inter Taipei FC at 2pm and Taichung Blue Whale face Taipei PlayOne at 4pm.

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