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Government to spend NT$3 billion to keep athletes in Taiwan

Government to spend NT$3 billion to keep athletes in Taiwan

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Cabinet-level Sports Affairs Council said Thursday it was planning to spend NT$3 billion over four years to keep prominent athletes from leaving the country.
The plan follows reports that Yani Tseng, the world’s No. 2 woman golf player, might be considering applying for the citizenship of a Southeast Asian country out of disappointment with the government’s attitude.
Earlier, pool champion Wu Chia-ching was also reported to be giving up Taiwanese citizenship in favor of Singapore.
Athletes have said the main reason for the threatened brain drain is the lack of opportunities for good jobs after the champions’ sporting careers are over. During their preparations for competitions, they don’t have time to study hard, making them unable to find good jobs once their sporting days are over.
The government plan would include assistance for the athletes in their studies and employment, and a complete retirement project, SAC officials said.
Commenting on the uproar Thursday, Tseng said she was proud to be Taiwanese and would feel uncomfortable saying “I am from Singapore” or “I am from China.”
“In my whole life, I have never thought for a day that I would change nationality,” she told reporters, emphasizing that all she wanted, was more government attention for golf.
Tseng complained the government unwilling to sponsor a Taiwanese stage of the Ladies Professional Gold Association Tour, which reportedly costs NT$200 million.
President Ma Ying-jeou told her it would be cheaper to organize marathons, while the SAC advised her to find business sponsors herself if she wanted to see the LPGA Tour visit Taiwan.
Taiwan’s elimination from the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo after defeats by South Korea and China led the government to announce projects aimed at promoting baseball, basketball and pool, but other sports were not mentioned.


Updated : 2020-12-02 21:47 GMT+08:00