November 14th – will be the biggest night for Taiwanese football, when they play an Asian Cup Qualifier away in Balkanabat, Turkmenistan. Currently, Taiwan sits in third place, one point behind joint leaders Bahrain and Turkmenistan.
Anything other than a defeat and Taiwan would know that the fate of qualifying for the finals in the United Arab Emirates would be in their own hands. This is because Bahrain will play Turkmenistan in Manama while Taiwan would play the last place in the group Singapore in Taipei during the last round of qualifying games.
Taiwan is not known for being a football-mad country, so the success of the national team is important for the growth of the game locally, however, there won’t be any coverage of what has become known as the biggest football game in Taiwanese history.
This time local football provider Eleven Sports cannot take the blame for this outcome, they tried to get a signal sent back but due to there being no live transmission in Turkmenistan it is impossible for Eleven Sports to make this happen. They could go there and do it, but the cost of doing that against the payback in people watching the game wouldn’t be worth it.
If Taiwan gets any positive result, the best thing would be for Joe public with any interest in football having a chance to watch it. This would help, especially during one of the national team’s most successful periods to date. However, this is unlikely to happen as Turkmenistan has decided it won’t be on TV.
Whatever the outcome of the game, interest in developing football nations such as Turkmenistan and Taiwan will suffer due to someone in the scheduling department of a Turkmenistan TV studio.