Taichung to appeal EAOC’s cancellation of youth games

Taipei, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (???) said Thursday that the city will soon submit a petition to the East Asian Olympic Committees (EAOC) over its decision to revoke Taichung's standing as host of the first East Asian Youth Games next year.

Expressing regret and dissatisfaction about the development, Lin said the city will submit the petition after consultations with the Sports Administration and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee.

The EAOC nullified its host city contract with Taichung Wednesday, one day after the committees voted to cancel the 2019 East Asian Youth Games at an extraordinary council meeting in Beijing.

The vote was called for by China's representative due to political factors related to a campaign for a proposed referendum in Taiwan that seeks to have the island take part in international sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, under the name of "Taiwan" rather than "Chinese Taipei," which has been used and authorized by the International Olympic Committee since 1981.

According to Lin, Taichung will appeal the EAOC's decision based on four arguments.

First, the EAOC's decision to cancel the Taichung games violates the spirit of the Olympic charter to promote sporting events in East Asia.

Second, Taichung was not informed either before or after Tuesday's meeting in Beijing, and the city has no knowledge of which EAOC regulations it has breached. Over the past three years, the city has complied with its contract with the EAOC and has followed its rules in preparation for hosting the event.

Third, as Taichung officials were not present at the Beijing meeting, they had no chance to explain or answer relevant questions.

Fourth, Taichung received notification from the EAOC Wednesday about the cancellation of the games. But the EAOC gave no concrete reasons to the city, which is against Section 24 stipulated in the contract with the EAOC. "We are not fully respected as a signing party," Lin said.

According to Lin, Taichung's objection has gained support and encouragement from Taiwan's people, based on the belief that politics should not meddle in sports.

"We will side with the athletes and defend their rights in line with the Olympic spirit," he said, adding that Taichung will seek support from other EAOC members after submitting the petition.

The East Asian Youth Games, originally set to take place in Taichung in August next year, are estimated to draw more than 2,000 athletes aged 14-18 from nine countries and areas.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel