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Taiwan, China agree to share hosting of Asia rugby games

2018/11/21 13:56:54

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 21 (CNA) China attempted to prevent Taiwan from hosting an Asian rugby tournament, but after negotiations the two sides agreed to take turns hosting the annual event for the next six years, Chinese Taipei Rugby Football Union (CTRFU) Secretary General Jeremy Pai (白維文) said Tuesday.

The Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) sent letters to rugby associations in the region in May, inquiring whether they were interested in hosting the 2019 Asia Rugby Youth U18 7's Tournament.

At that time, Taiwan was the only member to submit an application to host the event for three consecutive years and expected to be awarded the hosting rights at the union's annual meeting in Kazakhstan in July 2018, according to Pai.

However, during the annual meeting, China unexpectedly filed an application to host the tournament five years in a row. As a result, the Asian Rugby Football Union asked Taiwan and China to negotiate the matter in private and announce the results of their talks at a second meeting slated for December in Bangkok.

After one month of negotiations, the two sides decided to take turns hosting the event for the next six years, Pai said.

The only point of contention is which side will host the tournament first, Pai noted, adding that as Taiwan was the first applicant there should be no problem with it hosting next year's event.

In addition, although Taiwan won the bid to host the 2018 Asia Rugby U19 Championships last year, that right was challenged at the ARFU annual meeting in July when China indicated an interest in hosting. However, CTRFU head Huang Han-tsang (黃漢滄) rejected the proposal, saying "there is no need to discuss the issue" and the meeting backed his position.

(By Lung Po-an and Evelyn Kao)