Seven could be punished for roles in Senegal soccer trip

The China Post staff

Seven government officials from the foreign ministry and the sports council could be punished for the poorly-arranged trip of Senegal’s soccer team that turned out to be an embarrassment for the two nations. Three officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have offered to be punished while the National Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is considering punishing four staffers.

In a statement issued yesterday, the foreign affairs admitted several obvious mistakes in its arrangement of the trip.

“There were several mistakes in the ministry’s planning, and we are apologizing to the nation’s people for your discontent, and for the damage caused to the government’s image,” the ministry said.

The foreign ministry will soon decide whether or how to punish the three officials.

The three are Shih Jui-chi, deputy director of the ministry’s non-governmental organization affairs committee, ministry spokeswoman Katherine Chang and Lee Rui-cheng, head of the ministry’s international liaison division.

The ministry admitted two “obvious” slips in its preparations — insufficient planning of the team’s schedule and failure to immediately correct the media when news reports on the friendy to be played proved incorrect. Please see SENEGAL on page

Apart from the foreign ministry, the sports council also came under criticism after Senegal’s World Cup team left the island in anger, criticizing Taiwan for its poor hospitality.

Ho Yun-kuang, an official at the council, has offered to be held responsible for the incident, according to Chinese-language reports. Premier Yu Shyi-kun disclosed that Ho is considering resigning. But in a statement issued late yesterday, the council said it is planning to punish four other officials, including secretary-in-chief Lin Cheng-yi, international sports division chief Chang Fen-fen, Wu Yung-lu, an official in charge of coordinating the exhibition game, and Ho Ching-liang, the media contact person.

According to the United Evening News, the foreign ministry had not provided the sports council with the full details of its contract with the soccer team.