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Tim Chow not to play for Taiwan soccer team for now: lawyer

2017/11/02 22:48:27

Tim Chow (周定洋)/ CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 2 (CNA) Tim Chow (周定洋), an English professional soccer player of Taiwanese descent who earlier pledged to play for Taiwan, will not join the national team of his grandparents' country for the time being, according to the law firm representing him Thursday.

The STRing Lawfirm in Taipei issued a statement one day after talking with the Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) regarding Chow's expected role in the national team, which will face a crucial match in less than two weeks in Turkmenistan.

The 23-year-old Chow obtained a Republic of China (Taiwan) passport on Oct. 30 mainly to join the Taiwanese national team, according to Taiwan's representative office in the United Kingdom.

But the team's coach, Gary White, also a British national, expressed concern over Chow's current physical condition.

In spite of Chow's hopes of joining Taiwan's national team immediately, he felt he could not meet the coach's expectations at this moment, but promised to improve himself to the best of his ability, according to the law firm's statement.

Another reason for Chow refraining from plunging himself into the Nov. 14 match against the Turkmenistan team was that the Chinese Taipei Football Association had not agreed to the terms of salary and other perks for Chow, it added.

The CTFA first established contact with Chow four years ago, hoping to recruit the midfielder for Scottish Premiership club Ross County to boost the competitiveness of Taiwan's nation team, which has lagged behind other Asian soccer teams.

Chow was extremely excited about the team's 2-1 victory over Bahrain in Taipei on Oct. 10 in a qualifier for the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, one of Taiwan's biggest soccer wins in recent memory.

Down 1-0 with time running out in the second half, Taiwan tied the game at the 90-minute mark on a goal by Chen Po-liang (陳柏良) and won it on a goal in injury time by Chu En-le (朱恩樂), keeping the team's hopes alive for qualifying for the Asian Cup from Group E.

Taiwan is currently ranked third in the qualifying group, one point behind Bahrain and Turkmenistan, with two games left.

A loss in Turkmenistan on Nov. 14 would likely knock it out of contention for one of the group's top two spots and qualification for the 2019 tournament.

But a win or a draw would boost its hopes with only a match at home against Singapore, the group's last-placed team, left on the schedule.

Taiwan has not made an Asian Cup final round since 1968, when it finished fourth in a five-team tournament. The main draw has been opened to 24 teams this year, after being limited to 12 in 1996 and 2000, and 16 in 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2015.

Taiwanese fans had hoped Chow would help their team score a victory over Turkmenistan and keep their soccer craze until 2019.

(By Tai Ya-chen, Joseph Yeh, Lee Chin-wei and S.C. Chang)