Taipei, The Chinese Taipei Skating Union (CTSU) on Thursday rejected a suggestion from the International Skating Union (ISU) a day earlier that it voluntarily gave up its right to host an international figure skating event, marking the latest twist in the ongoing drama.
Taiwan was originally set to host the 2019 Asian Open Figure Skating Classic Oct. 30Nov. 3 at Taipei Arena.
However, CTSU announced late Tuesday it had received an emergency notification from the ISU the day before indicating that its right to host the event had been revoked, without giving an explanation.
In response to the CTSU statement, the international governing body for competitive ice skating said Wednesday that Taiwan's skating union agreed to give up the right in May.
Taiwan and several other members proposed that month "it would be preferable to host the event in another Asian country," according to the ISU online statement.
The ISU indicated only then did it seek a new host from interested Asian members with the consent of CTSU. Ultimately, Hong Kong, the only competitor when Taiwan originally sought to host the event, agreed to host it.
The tournament will now be held in Dongguan, in China's Guangdong Province as scheduled, it added.
Speaking at a press event on Thursday, CTSU SecretaryGeneral Eddy Wu confirmed the ISU statement that it did propose another Asian country should host the event "as an option" to the ISU in May.
However, that proposal was only made because the CTSU had been informed by members of the ISU that some would boycott the tournament if Taiwan hosted.
Wu did not explain why some members would boycott Taiwan, saying only that there has been "invisible pressure in the international arena." He also would not speculate whether Chinese pressure was the main reason countries threatened to boycott Taiwan as the host.
If there were insufficient participating countries, the results may not have been recognized by the ISU, Wu explained.
The CTSU had no option but to ask for ISU support. It was then that Taiwan suggested the event could be hosted by another country as an alternative, he added.
On June 25, the CTSU received a notice from ISU asking for its agreement that Hong Kong could host the event.
"To keep our cordial relations with the ISU and to make sure we would be able to host other events in the future, we had no choice but to say yes," Wu said.
During the press event Wu also apologized for a previous statement from the CTSU which falsely claimed a letter from the ISU said "the current international situation is unsuitable for Taiwan to host such an event."
However, he did not explain why the CTSU claimed on Tuesday the ISU notice received the previous day was the first time they had been informed about the change of venue.
The CTSU later removed that paragraph after admitting to the press that the ISU notice did not contain that line.
Meanwhile, head of the Sports Administration's International Sports Division Hsu Hsiuling told local press that the administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will establish an interministerial investigative committee to look into the case.
The committee will determine whether the CTSU's actions violated any laws by intentionally concealing its knowledge as to the change in hosting venue, she added.
During its negotiations with ISU, the CTSU never informed the administration of the obstacles it faced, according to officials.
The CTSU will be instructed to appeal the ISU decision and convey its desire to be allowed to continue to host the event, Hsu said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel