An annual soccer tournament featuring Latin American and Taiwanese teams yesterday started in New Taipei City, highlighting the bonds among Taiwanese and the people of the region.
About 1,000 people turned out to watch matches among 23 teams from 13 countries on the opening day of the Copa America Taiwan at a time when sports events across the world are facing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tournament, which hosts men’s, women’s and children’s categories and ends today, is being streamed live on social media and recorded for later broadcast elsewhere, organizers said.
Photo: Chou Hsiang-yun, Taipei Times
For the first time since the tournament was launched in 2014, the Guatemalan Association in Taiwan and Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association (TDDA) are working together to extend the reach of the games beyond spectators in Taiwan, said Juan Fernando Herrera Ramos, one of the tournament’s organizers.
Civic diplomacy is Taiwan’s primary means of developing relations with other nations, as it contends with international isolation and seeks to raise its visibility on the world stage, the TDDA said.
“We hope to bring together people who are interested in strengthening Taiwan-Latin America relations, paving the way for future cooperation,” TDDA chairwoman Kuo Chia-yo (郭家佑) said.
The tournament also highlights that Taiwan can host events with live spectators, because of its success in handling COVID-19, the association said.
Guatemalan Ambassador Willy Alberto Gomez Tirado said that the games offer an opportunity for Latin American countries to show their gratitude to Taiwan, “as we can still gather together and celebrate our friendship.”
One of the spectators at the opening matches, Ana Isabel Ruiz Becerril of Mexico, said that she felt like she was back home, as she sees all these people from Latin America as family.
Becerril, who has had to extend her stay in Taiwan for another six months until January next year due to the pandemic, said that she appreciates life in Taiwan during these difficult times.
One of the players, Dale Neal of Belize, said that he has competed in the Copa America Taiwan for the past five years and is happy to see people from Latin America, Taiwan and other countries having fun this year.
“I believe we will have a good chance to get to the final,” he added.
Four of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies — Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay are participating in the tournament, which is being held at Fu Jen Catholic University, with free admission.
‘HARD DECISION’: The international medical society now only refers to Taiwanese groups as from ‘Chinese Taipei,’ after the WHO asked that it make the change Two Taiwanese medical groups have been forced to change the word “Taiwan” in their membership names for the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) to “Chinese Taipei,” due to a request by the WHO. The two groups are the Taiwan Society of Radiological Technologists (TWSRT) and the Taiwan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (TAMRT). On Dec. 23 last year, the TAMRT posted on Facebook screenshots of a letter it received from the ISRRT, informing it that the two groups’ membership names would be changed from “Taiwan - TWSRT” and “Taiwan - TAMRT” to “Chinese Taipei - TWSRT” and “Chinese Taipei
‘NO MORE’: Pompeo’s decision was not rushed before the change of administration, but was the result of a long review of Taiwan-US ties, a US assistant secretary said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday announced that the US Department of State is voiding long-standing restrictions on how US diplomats and others have contact with their counterparts in Taiwan, just a little over a week before US president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. Pompeo instructed executive branch agencies to consider “all ‘contact guidelines’ regarding relations with Taiwan ... to be null and void.” “For several decades the State Department has created complex internal restrictions to regulate our diplomats, service members, and other officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts,” Pompeo said in a statement. “The United States government took these actions
CONTACTS TRACED: The doctor and his nurse girlfriend, who also tested positive, have only mild symptoms, but their cases have led to hundreds of people being tested The first case of a doctor contracting COVID-19 after treating an infected patient was one of two locally transmitted cases and two imported cases reported by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday. The second local case, No. 839, is the doctor’s girlfriend, a nurse who works at the same hospital. Case No. 838, a man in his 30s, is a doctor in a hospital in northern Taiwan that has been treating COVID-19 cases, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. He was in a negative-pressure isolation ward where one of the confirmed patients was staying
DEPARTURE CEREMONY: Guam’s governor hailed the US’ move to end restrictions on contacts with Taiwanese officials, saying it would help the territory build ties with Taipei A humanitarian charter flight, carrying dozens of people who had either been stranded on Guam and Saipan amid border closures or were in need of medical treatment, arrived in Taiwan at 5:25pm yesterday. The flight, operated by China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport with 47 passengers and 13 crew aboard. Five of the passengers had applied to local hospitals for treatment of tumors, heart arrhythmia or other conditions, and were approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, while four more are family members, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the spokesman