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Taiwan golf champ Yani Tseng considers Southeast Asian citizenship, but not playing for China

Taiwan golf champ Yani Tseng considers Southeast Asian citizenship, but not playing for China

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The father of Taiwanese golf champion Yani Tseng denied Wednesday she was about to adopt China citizenship, though she was still considering offers from Southeast Asian countries.
The reports about Tseng’s eventual change of nationality followed the news that she had been disappointed at President Ma Ying-jeou’s reaction to her suggestion that Taiwan host an LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) tournament.
The 20-year-old Tseng ranks as the world’s No.2 woman golf player, and the LPGA Tour is one of the most prestigious events for the sport.
She will not contemplate playing for China because of the sensitive political problems such a decision would entail, her father, Tseng Mao-hsin, told reporters Wednesday. However, she was still talking to several Southeast Asian nations, he said.
Earlier, Taiwanese pool champion Wu Chia-ching was reported as preparing to become a Singaporean.
Tseng was disappointed that the Cabinet-level Sports Affairs Council told her to find business sponsors herself if she wanted Taiwan to host an LPGA tournament. The SAC said it didn’t have a budget for the event, considering Taiwan is already hosting the Deaflympics in Taipei and the World Games in Kaohsiung this year.
When Tseng mentioned her hope to President Ma, he reportedly replied that the money needed for the golf championship was enough to host more than a dozen running events. Ma is known as an avid runner, but Tseng was reportedly shocked at his reply.
The rumors of nationality changes for top Taiwanese athletes come amid complaints about the poor status sports champions enjoy in their native country. Once their often short sports career is over, they find it hard to find steady jobs because they sacrificed their education to prepare for athletic competitions.
As a result of the complaints and of the national basketball team’s poor performance at the World Baseball Classic in Japan last weekend, the government has been talking up a range of measures it wants to take.
When the athletes are offered a positive environment and advantageous prospects for their career developments, they will want to stay in Taiwan, Cabinet spokesman Su Jun-pin said Wednesday.
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan has asked the SAC to come up before the end of this month with a plan to rescue baseball, basketball and pool. In addition, the government will also complete by June a proposal to give tax benefits to corporations investing in sports.
The government efforts have mainly focused on baseball because it is considered Taiwan’s national sport. Last Saturday’s defeat at the hands of China touched off a wave of furor inside the country.


Updated : 2021-03-04 11:21 GMT+08:00