China’s move to block Taiwan from rugby hosting fumbled

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jul 31, 2018 - Page 3

China on Saturday at the annual meeting of the Asia Rugby Council in Kazakhstan proposed revoking Taiwan’s right to host the Asia Rugby Under-19 Championship in December, but the proposal was rejected, the Sports Administration said.

The news came after China on Wednesday last week reportedly pressured members of the East Asian Olympic Committee into passing a resolution that revoked Taichung’s right to host the East Asian Youth Games.

The rugby championship is to be held in Taipei from Dec. 11 to 19 as planned, the agency said in a statement, having confirmed the information with the Chinese Taipei Rugby Association.

Taiwan and China have both shown interest in hosting the championship, the agency added.

“Neither has turned in an application to host the championship and the rugby council has yet to make a final decision. We will gain a better understanding of the situation after Chinese Taipei Rugby Association representatives return from the Asia Rugby Council meeting in Kazakhstan,” the agency said.

The Chinese Taipei Rugby Association said on Facebook that the championship would be attended by teams from Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.

China would not be competing in the championship, but it nevertheless wanted to block Taiwan’s right to host it, the agency added.

China has also challenged Taiwan’s plan to host the under-18 championship, the agency said, adding that not only did China vow to compete with Taiwan for the right to host the championship next year, but it vowed to gain the right to host the championship five years in a row.

“Despite recent challenges, the management of the Chinese Taipei Rugby Association has fought to stand our ground and protect our rights. We promise to do our best to host the under-19 championship and are confident that we will be able to host more international championships in the future,” the agency said.