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World Cup host Qatar corrects Taiwan name on visa application list

New Hayya Card application lists Taiwan with no reference to China

Flags of World Cup participants on the waterfront in Doha, Qatar. 

Flags of World Cup participants on the waterfront in Doha, Qatar.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese soccer fans applying for a visa to attend the World Cup in Qatar can now choose their correct country name, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday (June 16).

A netizen complained earlier in the week that until June 8, the Hayya Card application website only mentioned “Taiwan (Province of China),” while after that date it completely removed any mention of Taiwan, leaving only “China” as the option. The Hayya Card is necessary to enter Qatar, attend matches, and travel for free on buses and metro on match days.

MOFA told its representative office in Saudi Arabia, which also covers Qatar, to clear up the situation, while the Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) said it was contacting World Cup organizer, FIFA.

MOFA on Thursday expressed its gratitude and appreciation for the correction of the name to “Taiwan,” CNA reported. The organizers of the Nov. 21-Dec. 18 global soccer event quickly responded to Taiwan’s request and in a positive way, according to MOFA Spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安).

She said MOFA would continue to monitor developments and coordinate with the CTFA to provide assistance to Taiwanese planning to travel to Qatar for the World Cup.