Tue, Nov 06, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Soccer chief eyes potential of migrant worker teams

Staff writer, with CNA

Soccer teams made up of migrant workers could become regular fixtures in Taiwan if Chinese Taipei Football Association president Chiou I-jen’s (邱義仁) vision for local tournaments gains traction.

Migrant workers have great passion for soccer, which could boost development of the sport, Chiou said on Sunday.

“One of my goals is to systematize existing amateur football games and tournaments in Taiwan,” Chiou said, adding that this would include migrant worker teams and leagues participating in local tournaments, if they are interested.

The details of such a proposal still have to be discussed, he said.

Soccer is popular in many Southeast Asian nations, and the region is the largest source of migrant workers, Chiou said.

“They come from countries that have better soccer environments than Taiwan, which would make a difference here,” he said.

“Even though they are not professional players, their devotion to the sport in Taiwan will definitely help the sport’s local development,” he said.

Chiou made the comments on the sidelines of an international immigrant soccer competition hosted in New Taipei City by the Taiwan chapter of the Global Workers’ Organization.

Chiou attended a ceremony ahead of the tournament’s final, which featured amateur teams made up of foreign nationals from across Taiwan.

Global Workers’ Organization, Taiwan secretary-general Karen Hsu (徐瑞希) said that Vietnamese migrant workers are the most passionate soccer fans.

They organized 25 to 30 teams with the help of Taiwan-based overseas Vietnamese associations, Hsu said.

Thailand and Indonesia love soccer too, with five Thai teams competing in Taiwan, she said.

The sport’s governing body should help get such teams together for regular tournaments, she added.

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