Taiwan in pot 3 - the rise of Taiwanese football

Taiwanese football is at the start of an ascent, which I thought never would or could happen. They have improved a lot over the last few years, that they are now in pot 3 for the World Cup draw, which is a massive achievement. The World Cup qualifying games in September are going to be absolutely pivotal for football in Taiwan.

The rise of Taiwanese football starts here

The draw for the second round of World Cup qualifying is on the 17th July, the first game will take place in September this year. This is when Taiwanese football really has the chance to carry on their improvement, increase the popularity of the sport on the island, and show the World that Taiwanese football is on the rise.

From the outside looking in, people might think no improvement has been made, because Taiwan are still ranked in the 100's when it comes to Fifa rankings, but the improvement made in the last few years has been remarkable.

The national team have a confidence and a swagger about them that has never been witnessed in years gone by, that is all thanks to the work that has gone on behind the scenes to improve aspects of Taiwanese football that haven't been considered for improvement previously. Things such as: improving the coaching standards, getting better facilities in place, more engagement and involvement in the sport, playing more games and competitions across all age groups, levels and genders and trying to raise the level of the local league are all reasons why we are now seeing better development of the game in Taiwan.

As long as the faceless men (and women) behind all these positive changes remain in charge, and remain patient about the progress by realising that these things take time, then we may one day see Taiwan enter the top 100 nations in the World. If that happens it would be one of best achievements I will have ever seen, because when I arrived even winning games seemed impossible.

Now Taiwan will enter the World Cup draw with a hunger and desire that has never been seen in any Taiwanese national side before this one, they will surprise whoever they are drawn against because they are determined to be the generation of footballers who put the sport on the map when it comes to competing with basketball and baseball for the attention of sports loving fans.

The desire is there, the spirit is there, and the determination is there for Taiwan to succeed, all that is needed is for the public to support them throughout the World Cup and realise that this time, this team really does have the heart of a lion and we can all be there to witness it as they fight like warriors to qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup in China (we still have to be realistic, the World Cup isn't likely).

Photo: CTFA

The draw could throw up many possibilities 

Taiwan being put into pot 3 for the draw opens up a whole host of possibilities for the group they could have. Most the teams in pot 1 and 2 will be difficult regardless who is pulled out of the pot with Taiwan, however we can only hope that they get some of the lower ranked seeds, or Japan/South Korea (for the sake of general interest).

Pots 4 and 5 however, are a mishmash of sides that could be extremely awkward opposition and sides I think Taiwan should overcome with minimal difficulty. If Taiwan draw a team like Indonesia (who are in pot 5 because of being banned by Fifa) or Cambodia then they could find it tricky to defeat them, especially away with both sides having a full house of home fans going ballistic all through the match.

Or they could draw someone like Mongolia, who Taiwan have a good record against and should manage to defeat home and away, even if does end up being a tight match, you would predict that Taiwan would manage to come out on top.

Whoever Taiwan draw in the group stage, one thing for sure is that Taiwanese football is on the rise, and this World Cup qualifying in September could be pivotal for football in Taiwan, especially now as the CTFA has their act together and are being ran very well compared to past attempts at having a crack at qualifying for the World Cup. 

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