After brawl, legislators seek to confront treatment of Taiwan teams & fans at competitions

Hockey fight and Chinese flag waving has lawmakers seeing some rules governing international sports competitions as unfair toward Taiwan

Fight broke out at Taiwan-China hockey game (YouTube user 半瓶醋)

Fight broke out at Taiwan-China hockey game (YouTube user 半瓶醋)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Following an incident in which a brawl broke out between teams representing China and Taiwan during the U18 World Hockey Championship and a Chinese player began waving a Chinese flag at the crowd in Taipei, Taiwan’s lawmakers seek to address the controversy over fans waving banners in support of Taiwan and what they consider unfair treatment of players at international competitions.

DPP legislators Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) and Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) held a press conference today to request Taiwan’s Sports Administration to discuss the unfair treatment toward Taiwan’s teams and fans at events with international athletics associations, UDN reported.

Chinese hockey player waves a flag at the audience after the brawl Friday night in Taipei

Huang said that two athletes were denied entry into the under-18 volleyball competition in Chongqing, China, because they were told the rules did not allow permit the athletes to participate. Taiwanese volleyball officials claimed the rules had recently been changed without their knowledge.

Chang claimed that the volleyball association did not adhere to rules of transparency. However, when officials were later replaced, there was no one to take responsibility for the incident that wasted resources and damaged the players’ ability to compete.

Huang also noted an instance during an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) match in which fans were told to remove their banner because it said, “All Hail Formosa.” The fans claimed it was not a political statement and that Formosa is a historical name for Taiwan. The lawmakers feel that such actions toward fans adversely affect enthusiasm during competitions.

The AFC responded that because Formosa is a historic name for Taiwan it is inherently political; therefore, the banner had to be removed from competition. The AFC fined Taiwan US$4,000 (NT$121,000) for the incident.

After the hockey fight, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), suspended two Chinese players for one game for instigating the brawl on Friday.