Thursday, July 14, 2011

Taiwan beats Malaysia, appoints new coach and is offered FIFA development funds

Taiwan's national football team has been invited to play a friendly against Singapore on 18 July, following its impressive 3-2 defeat of Malaysia in a recent 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Although Taiwan failed to advance to the second round due to insufficient aggregate goals, new coach Lee Tae Ho, a retired South Korean national footballer, said the enthusiasm shown by the more than 15,000 fans in the venue left him impressed.

He said his team will become more aggressive under his one-year leadership."I prefer the attacking style of football, which means when the opponents make one goal, we must try to make two," he said.

The world football body, FIFA, sent six delegates to Taiwan from 4-10 July to help the nation's Chinese Taipei Football Association review its operations and map out a two-year development program.

The plan includes establishing a panel responsible for developing football at the entry level, proposing an eight-year coach nurturing program, and organizing matches at different ages around the country, Lu Kun-shan, the football association's president, told CNA.

“Our understanding is that about $300,000 will be invested in the plan,” Lu said of a reported FIFA financial commitment. “Whether we can continue to secure the funding depends on our performance,” he said.

One of Lu's ultimate goals is to form professional football leagues in Taiwan by 2018, with 12 teams for men and six for women's football. He also hopes the men's team can break into the FIFA top 100 nations by 2019.

See also: Taiwan announces major plans to become a football power in Asia

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