Taiwan’s government is committing $79.7m (£59.8m/€66.8m) to the construction of six football stadiums in a push to launch a professional league in the country.
Sports administration director general Lin Te-fu announced the government’s pledge under the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Programme to build a venue in each of the nation’s special municipalitites.
Lin hopes that the project will kick-start a true professional football league consisting of six professional clubs based in the six cities, with main sponsorship from each city government and major corporations based locally.
Taiwan, or Chinese Taipei to Fifa in deference to China PR, sits in 151st position in the Fifa men’s ranking, well behind China PR who sit in 62nd. The current Taiwanese top league – the Football Premier League – consists of eight clubs, four of which are university sides and none of which are fully professional.
Taiwanese legislators Huang Kuo-shu, who has often criticised Taiwanese sports governing bodies, and Lee Li-feng hosted the meeting with the Japanese delegation, at which the plans were outlined for the stadiums.
Huang Kuo-shu claimed he would propose that the government focuses on football and enable public-sector organisations to invest or sponsor teams.