Na­tional soc­cer team re­fuses to at­tend pre-match event

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Chen Po-liang ( ), cap­tain of the Chi­nese Taipei Na­tional Foot­ball Team, yes­ter­day re­fused to at­tend the pre-match press con­fer­ence for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qual­i­fi­ca­tions against Thai­land, in­stead blast­ing the Chi­nese Taipei Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s (CTFA, ) fail­ure to in­vite their head coach. Chen took to his Face­book page, ve­he­mently stat­ing that as the CTFA had failed to in­vite the na­tional team’s Head Coach Chen Kuei-jen ( ) and other coach­ing staff to the con­fer­ence, “the whole team will not at­tend the press con­fer­ence, as it is not an of­fi­cial meet­ing held by FIFA.”

He fur­ther stated that Tai­wan’s soc­cer en­vi­ron­ment will never im­prove un­less its soc­cer play­ers “band to­gether in th­ese hos­tile cir­cum­stances.”

The CTFA only in­vited Chen and three other team mem­bers, and had yet to dis­close the rea­son as to not ex­tend­ing the in­vi­ta­tion to the head coach and coach­ing staff.

Chen em­pha­sized that as the match against Thai­land is ap­proach­ing, which will kick off on June 16 at the Taipei Mu­nic­i­pal Sta­dium ( ), the CTFA’s care­less­ness is il­log­i­cal and a blow to the team’s morale.

The head coach’s im­por­tance lies in his or her com­plete un­der­stand­ing of the team’s con­di­tion and game strat­egy, Chen ex­plained in his Face­book state­ment.

Chen also pointed out that in any pre-match me­dia con­fer­ence; the star is usu­ally the head coach, and that his or her in­ter­view is of­ten the high­light of the en­tire con­fer­ence.

The Chi­nese Taipei Na­tional Foot­ball Team will be com­pet­ing with Thai­land to gain qual­i­fi­ca­tions for both the 2018 Rus­sia World Cup and 2019 Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion (AFC) Asian Cup.

The two teams are in Group F, which also in­cludes Iraq, Viet­nam and the dis­qual­i­fied In­done­sia.

CNA

An empty ta­ble is seen at the press event for the up­com­ing 2018 FIFA World Cup Pre­lim­i­nary Joint Qual­i­fi­ca­tion Round 2 match be­tween Chi­nese Taipei and Thai­land, yes­ter­day. Chi­nese Taipei play­ers, in­clud­ing the team’s star player Chen Po-liang ( ), boy­cotted the event to protest the or­ga­nizer’s fail­ure to in­vite their head coach.

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