Mon, Mar 04, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Lower leagues, registry needed: Iwanicki

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Royal Blues Taipei general manager Robert Iwanicki, center, poses with officials from Belgium’s KV Mechelen soccer club, where Iwanicki completed the internship for his UEFA A coaching license.

Photo courtesy of Robert Iwanicki

Setting up two regional second divisions in the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) and a database of all clubs and players would remove some of the disarray in Taiwanese soccer and help establish a top-level national organization, Royal Blues Taipei general manager Robert Iwanicki said.

Some of the disorder in the Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) was exposed in December last year when the Royal Blues were relegated from the TFPL, but left in limbo as the CTFA has no national lower-tier leagues.

Iwanicki, who is set to obtain his UEFA A coaching license later this month, told the Taipei Times in an interview that CTFA officials have yet to address problems raised over the past two seasons, including match scheduling issues and the poaching of players by opposition teams.

Asked about the Royal Blues being relegated, he said: “One main reason is the Taicheng Lions, who stole our players. Their head coach came to our practices pretending to join our club and was talking behind our back to all the players. They then poached our best centerback, a striker, plus two more players.”

“Another problem was the departure of our CM Elias Argueta to the Taipei Tatung club. Losing these important players reduced our roster and affected our game performance,” he added.

“Kick-off times on Wednesday at 5pm are not good for our team,” as many have to work or attend school on weekdays, he said.

“At times, we were unable to field a full lineup,” he said.

Two second divisions should be set up, one in greater Taipei and the other in Kaohsiung, which would reduce the time and cost of traveling to matches, he said.

“The CFTA should push the Sports Ministry for funding. The TFPL receives NT$1.2 million [US$38,993] per team per season, and the second divisions should receive at least half of that amount,” he said.

Registering all players starting at the youth level would curb player poaching, he said.

“Clubs could get money from transferring players in the future. If clubs knew about that, they might start developing players instead of poaching from other teams just to win matches,” he added.

Referees should also be in the registry, he said, adding that they could be relegated and promoted on a salary or league system.

“Each player and team would need a database, where referees could upload all the game data after a match,” Iwanicki said.

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