Qatar changes designation for Taiwanese World Cup fans after protest

06/16/2022 12:44 PM
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One of the FIFA World Cup venues in Qatar. Photo: Facebook page of the organizers
One of the FIFA World Cup venues in Qatar. Photo: Facebook page of the organizers

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday that 2022 FIFA World Cup host Qatar had corrected an online application form that previously listed Taiwan as part of China.

Following a protest from MOFA Wednesday, "Taiwan, Province of China" has been replaced by "Taiwan" on a dropdown menu on the application website for Qatar's "Hayya" card, which all World Cup spectators are required to apply for, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said.

"We express our appreciation to the event organizers for their swift response in making the correction and in safeguarding the rights of our nation's fans," Ou added.

The Hayya fan identification card also serves as an entry visa for ticket holders at the first-ever winter World Cup, which will be held in Qatar from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18.

Image taken from fifa.com
Image taken from fifa.com

Taiwan's football fans, however, have previously complained that a dropdown menu of nationalities on the Hayya card application system had no listing for Taiwan, but only "Taiwan, Province of China," although it did include the flag of the Republic of China (R.O.C.), Taiwan's official name.

Ou on Wednesday called on the event organizers to make an immediate correction instead of "belittling Taiwan's sovereign status."

Like most countries in the world, Qatar has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan and instead recognizes the People's Republic of China.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world, and the second in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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