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Taiwan sets goal of reaching top 100 in world soccer rankings

2018/05/03 23:09:06

CNA file photo

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) The Sports Administration (SA) has drafted a program to make Taiwan one of the top 100 national soccer teams in the world within six years, SA Director Lin De-fu (林德福) said on Thursday.

Lin said the administration is determined to make the sport more popular in Taiwan, whose national team currently ranks 121st in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) World Rankings for men.

The director's six-year plan includes the employment of at least 50 professional soccer coaches in local schools, almost double the current 27, despite the fact that more than 170 individuals have soccer coaching qualifications.

Furthermore, Lin said he is looking to establish 16 university teams, 32 high school teams, and 64 junior high teams, as well as a professional soccer league.

The infrastructure needed to support those teams, their practice facilities and matches have been budgeted for in the government's "forward-looking infrastructure development plan," NT$2.4 billion (US$80.7 million) of which has been directed to introduce six soccer pitches at athletics stadiums across Taiwan.

It is Lin's hope that the government can work with businesses to sponsor professional soccer teams in a manner similar to existing arrangements with Super Basketball League teams.

(By Lee Chin-wei and Kuan-lin Liu)