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UNIVERSIADE: FISU asks Taipei to review 'arrangements' after disorder

2017/08/19 23:14:36

FISU President Oleg Matytsin (right)

Taipei, Aug. 19 (CNA) the International University Sports Federation (FISU) said Saturday it has asked Taipei to review "future arrangements," after anti-government protesters blocked athletes from entering the venue of the opening ceremony of the Taipei Universiade.

"Earlier this evening, there was a peaceful public order incident that temporarily prevented the entry of athletes to the Taipei 2017 Opening Ceremony," FISU, the organizing body of the Universiade, said in a statement issued to the press.

"Following a short wait and quick action from the Taipei authorities, the delayed athletes were able to join those already in the stadium," FISU noted, adding that the ceremony continued as planned.

"While the welfare and security of athletes is FISU's top priority, public order is an issue for the Taipei authorities. FISU has asked that future arrangements be reviewed," according to the statement.

"FISU looks forward to the Universiade remaining a peaceful celebration of sport, education and culture," it said.

A protest targeting President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) pension reform policy ended up blocking athletes from entering the Taipei Stadium, where she was scheduled to welcome young athletes from around the world.

The teams were lined up to enter the venue in alphabetical order but only those from countries whose names start with A or B were able to get in after 7:00 p.m. The others were represented only by a flag bearer during the ceremony. The blockage ended at around 8:00 p.m.

Taipei City, the host city, was the first to issue a strong condemnation of the protesters. The city's spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) said the protesters deliberately obstructed the opening ceremony, violating the law, and minimizing the legitimacy of their appeals.

(By Christie Chen)