Athletes on national teams would be allowed to compete in international events in other countries amid the COVID-19 outbreak only if the events are qualifiers for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Sports Administration Director General Kao Chin-hsung (高俊雄) said yesterday.
Kao made the statement in response to a question by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書), a member of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee.
Huang asked if the government still intends to send national team athletes to compete in Olympic qualifiers in countries where there are cases of COVID-19 infections, as the women’s beach volleyball qualifier is to be held in China and the women’s rowing qualifier in Chungju, South Korea, two countries with level 3 travel advisories.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
The national gymnastics team is to compete in qualifiers in Japan and Singapore, which have level 2 advisories.
“We would first consider sending athletes who have not yet qualified to compete in the Olympic Games to go to qualifiers,” Kao said. “If the games are not Olympic qualifiers, then none of our national team athletes should go.”
Thirty-one national athletes in nine sports categories have so far qualified to compete in the Games, the Sports Administration said.
The National Sports Training Center has since Feb. 1 been observing strict disease-prevention standards set by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), Kao said.
The nation’s disease-prevention policy is having an effect on the training of table tennis players, as a coach from China has been unable to re-enter Taiwan following the Lunar New Year holiday, Kao added.
If the Games proceed as planned, the Sports Administration would consult with the Centers for Disease Control about medical professionals traveling with the Olympic teams to assist athletes in avoiding contracting the coronavirus, Kao said.
The Baseball Americas qualifier is scheduled to take place on March 22 to 26, Kao said, adding that a cancelation or postponement of the qualifier due to an increase in cases in the US might also affect the Asian qualifier, even though the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has postponed the Asian qualifier from next month to June.
Whether the two qualifiers proceed and select the two best teams qualified to compete in Tokyo might depend on next month’s meeting of the WSBC executive board, he said.
The Asian qualifier is the final opportunity for Taiwan’s national baseball team to gain a berth in the Olympics.
DPP Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) asked whether the Sports Administration supports a decision by the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) to go ahead with its season-opener on March 28.
Chang Liao said that Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) has expressed the hope that fans could watch CPBL games in live broadcasts online.
Given that UEFA and Nippon Professional Baseball have decided to suspend or postpone games, he asked where Kao stands on the matter and whether he has consulted with the CECC.
Kao said that the CPBL would hold a disease-prevention meeting today.
“The Chinese Taipei School Sport Federation has held 100 closed-door games this month. As the nation has already had isolated infection clusters in communities, our position is that the CPBL should adopt stringent disease-prevention standards and postpone the game,” he said.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
‘CHINESE CAPITAL’: Fanny Liu was found guilty of reducing the rent of a tenant in exchange for a vote for a KMT Taipei city councilor candidate The Taipei District Court on Wednesday sentenced Fanny Liu (劉樂妍), a former member of the now-disbanded female pop group Fantasy 4, to 10 years in prison for vote-buying. The court found Liu — who is now based in China and has made pro-Chinese Communist Party remarks — guilty of reducing the rent on a Taipei property she owned in exchange for the tenant voting for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate in the November 2018 nine-in-one local elections. She can appeal the ruling. Liu in December 2018 reportedly lowered the rent by NT$1,000 after the tenant said they had voted for Taipei City
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease