EAOC rejects Taichung's appeal against cancellation of youth games

08/13/2018 05:31 PM
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Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) The East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) has declined to change its decision to cancel the East Asian Youth Games that were scheduled for 2019 in Taichung, the city's Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said Monday.

Lin said he has received a letter of rejection from EAOC Chairman Liu Peng (劉鵬), in response to a petition by the Taichung City government for the committee to reconsider its position on the issue.

In a Facebook post, Lin said he was aware of the difficulties involved in asking the EAOC to reinstate Taichung's right to host the 2019 games, in the face of pressure from China.

"However, we do not see the rejection of our petition to the EAOC as the end of road," he said. "We will not give up."

He said the Taichung City government is considering an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, to seek legal recourse, including mediation and arbitration.

Taichung is also thinking of filing a lawsuit against the EAOC and will continue to seek the support of the international community, Lin said.

In a letter dated July 25, Liu said the EAOC had decided at an extraordinary meeting in Beijing the previous day to cancel the 2019 East Asian Youth Games.

"According to the decision, the Host City Contract for the 1st East Asian Youth Games in 2019 shall be nullified as of today," wrote Liu, a Chinese citizen.

It was later disclosed that the decision was driven by China's concerns over a campaign in Taiwan for a referendum on whether the name "Taiwan" instead of "Chinese Taipei" should be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and other international sports events.

On July 30, Lin lodged a formal complaint with the EAOC and petitioned the committee to reconsider its decision.

In the response, Liu wrote that the EAOC's decision to cancel the 2019 games in Taichung was conducive to unity, stability and harmony in the sports arena of East Asia and beneficial to facilitating the healthy development of the Olympic Games, according to Lin.

The mayor said that contrary to Liu's views, however, the decision would undermine stability and harmony in the sports arena and was not in keeping with the spirit of the Olympics.

The abrupt revocation of Taichung's rights to host the games would affect 2,300 young athletes in nine nations and was unfair to Taichung and all the young athletes who had planned to compete, Lin said.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) said Monday that a separate petition it had sent to the EAOC over the matter had also been turned down.

In a letter, the EAOC said the decision to revoke Taichung's hosting rights was made after discussions and via a democratic process, according to CTOC Secretary-General Jacqueline Shen (沈依婷).

The EAOC also pointed out that a CTOC representative was at the extraordinary meeting on July 24 when the decision was made, she said.

(By Su Mu-chun and Evelyn Kao)

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