Taiwan thanks World Cup organisers after China reference removed from fan IDs

by 24USATVJune 16, 2022, 7:01 a.m. 16
-

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qualifier - Costa Rica v New Zealand - Al Rayyan Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar - June 14, 2022 General view inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

TAIPEI, June 16 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Foreign Ministry expressed thanks on Thursday after organisers of the World Cup in Qatar removed a reference to China for Taiwanese visitors applying for an identification card that doubles as an entry visa.

All World Cup ticketholders must apply for the Hayya card used to identify fans, which also serves as their Qatar visa, but Taiwan's government expressed concern after discovering the online application system made no mention of the island.

It was subsequently listed as, "Taiwan, Province of China", terminology that equally angers Taiwan's government and many of its people.

However, late on Wednesday the system began listing the island simply as "Taiwan", complete with the Taiwanese flag.

It marks a rare victory for Taiwan, whose government and many of its people bristle at China's sovereignty claims.

Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou told reporters this was a "positive development", and expressed appreciation for the fast reaction by the organisers.

"We express our thanks and affirmation for this goodwill," Ou added.

The World Cup organisers have yet to comment on the change.

When asked about the complaints made to the Qatar World Cup organisers by Taiwan officials, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday he wished to reiterate that "Taiwan is part of China".

Taiwan competes at most international sporting competitions like the Olympics as "Chinese Taipei" to avoid political problems. It has not qualified for the Qatar World Cup, but soccer is popular in Taiwan.

Taiwan has never played at the World Cup finals and crashed out in the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2022 tournament last year after losing all eight matches.

Taiwan has no diplomatic relations with Qatar, which, like most countries, only recognises China's government.

China, seeking to assert its sovereignty claims, has been stepping up pressure for countries and foreign companies to refer to Taiwan as part of China in official documents and on websites, often using the wording "Taiwan, Province of China", or "Taiwan, China".

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Anddrew Mills in Doha; Editing by Peter Rutherford

-

Related Articles

HOT TRENDS

Payton to join Blazers; 3-year deal, sources say

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 8 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Reports: Bobby Portis agrees to 4-year deal with Bucks

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 7:20 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Minecraft YouTuber Technoblade Passes Away from Cancer

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 6 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Sources: Mavs land C McGee for 3 years, $20.1M

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 5 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Puma Gets Progressive with Its First Woman-Specific Running Shoe

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 5 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Lakers reach deals with Walker, Jones, 2 others

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 4 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Kevin Durant Asks to Be Traded From the Nets

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 4 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

C. Ortiz sets early pace at LIV's first U.S. event

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 4 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Pope Francis Misses Meeting With Jewish Delegation Due to Knee Pain

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

LIV Golf: What happened in the first round at Portland

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Report: Lakers to sign Lonnie Walker IV to 1-year deal

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Amigos de Fernando del Solar reaccionan tras su muerte

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

UCLA, USC confirm move to Big Ten beginning with 2024-25 season

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Damian Jones leaves Kings for Lakers in NBA free agency

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 1:01 a.m.2