Mongolia blocks entry of Taipower for AFC Cup fixture

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Photo: 台灣電力公司足球隊

Taipower, a Taiwanese football team were due to fly out to Mongolia on Sunday but were told at the check-in counter that they will not be allowed onto the flight because Mongolia has barred Taiwanese citizens from entering the country. 

Mongolia ban visitors from 'Chinese area'

Mongolia has banned all visitors from the 'Chinese area', which they have decided includes Taiwan due to the Coronavirus in affecting China, even though Taiwan has only confirmed 10 cases of the virus with the majority of the cases being imported from China.

Taipower was due in Mongolia to compete in the AFC Cup qualifier against Ulaanbaatar City on Wednesday evening. This match is now in jeopardy because of the decision to not allow the Taiwanese side to travel to the Mongolian capital.

The decision taken by the Mongolian authorities is because of the World Health Organization  (W.H.O) classifying Taiwan as part of China, therefore it is being made out that China has control over Taiwan in regards to tackling the spread of the Coronavirus, which is frankly ludicrous.

This will now be a big issue for Taiwanese football if the team cannot play in the AFC Cup because until this season, it has been difficult to get Taipower and Tatung (normally the top two Taiwanese sides) to compete in the AFC Cup at all. This is seen as a route to aid the development of Taiwanese sides, and so far, in regards to Fujen (Hang Yuen) it has shown Taiwanese sides how big the gap currently is between them, and others in their sub-region of Asia, never mind the continent as a whole.

But, due to the W.H.O categorising, now Taiwanese football looks like it is going to have difficulties competing in the AFC Cup.

The CTFA is trying to find a resolution 

The CTFA have stated that they are trying to find a resolution to the issue, and they are clearly miffed at the fact they have been bundled into the classification with China, as the W.H.O has deemed Taiwan a part of China's territory (wrongly too).

Taipower have re-scheduled their flight to tomorrow evening (Monday) which is clearly going to have a knock-on effect when it comes to playing the game on Wednesday night. As far as it goes with the AFC, there is no comment at all about what will happen if the match isn't played, maybe they are waiting to see if the two associations can resolve the issue first before making any kind of statement themselves. Either way, they should be having more input on this situation than they currently are.

We can only hope that Taipower does manage to get to Mongolia and compete in the AFC qualifier. 

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1 Comments

  1. I think the most likely outcome is that both legs are played at a neutral venue. It wouldn't be fair to Taipower, obviously, but it might come to that. Honestly, it might even benefit Taipower as the neutral venue will probably be a location that is much warmer in February than Ulaanbaatar so it will allow them to perform at their usual level.

    Kitchee are in a similar situation because this travel ban would bar them from travelling to Mongolia if Ulaanbaatar City were to prevail. In fact, whether they will be allowed to play the home leg of the playoff round in Hong Kong, on the 26th, is still yet to be determined. The HKFA wants it to be played in Hong Kong, behind closed doors, but the AFC needs to approve it and the government needs to determine whether it's safe to allow it.

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