Originally posted by Maoman:
And Thyrd Rail, what are you on about? You keep referring to "they" (the Senegalese) in your post. Do you mean the one unhappy agent? ...Don't tar the whole team with the same brush...
You’re right. I take it back. It’s just that one jerkoff supposedly “government official” who complained about sitting in coach and “almost starved to death.” HOLY SHIT!! This incident made it to the New York Times!! (Read below) Does Taiwan have a food or restaurant shortage? Funny, if that fat tub was indeed “starving”, you’d think he’d shell out a few NT and buy himself some burgers or beef noodles.
Regarding the media, what do you expect? They are no different than all the media scum that you can find in every other country. Speaking of which, I saw on the news last week some poor old Taiwanese lady being trampled by the swarming media. She fell to the ground crying and didn’t get up. God, that was an awful sight. What was that about? Kind of reminded me of when Winona Ryder’s arm got broken by some cameraman caught up in the media swarm around her in L.A.
Senegal Team’s Taiwan Visit a Fiasco
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 2:55 p.m. ET
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – What was supposed to be a friendly round of soccer diplomacy between Senegal’s World Cup team and Taiwan turned into an embarrassing fiasco for both sides, prompting the Senegalese ambassador to issue a televised apology.
Taiwan invited the team to visit the island and paid its travel expenses after Senegal’s successful run at the World Cup ended with a 1-0 defeat to Turkey in the quarterfinal.
Things went awry shortly after the team arrived Sunday for a two-day visit. Taiwan is one of the tiny West African nation’s biggest sources of aid.
Thousands of Taiwanese fans showed up at a soccer stadium in the capital, Taipei, for what was billed by the media as a congratulatory ceremony for the team and a friendly match with a local team.
But only a few players showed up – all in their street clothes – and they only signed autographs, dribbled balls and shot a few goals before leaving after about an hour. By the time Premier Yu Shyi-kun arrived to give a speech, the players had gone.
This prompted questions if Taiwan wasted the $244,345 it spent on the team’s airfare, hotel and other travel expenses. The figure included $10,000 in shopping money provided for the players to divide among themselves.
The lowest point of the visit came when a member of the team’s entourage, not a player, threw a fit at the airport when he wasn’t allowed to sit with the team in business class on a departing flight to Paris. The Foreign Ministry said there were not enough seats for him.
With TV cameras rolling, the man gestured wildly with his arms and complained the Foreign Ministry did not treat the team properly. ``I almost starved to death,’’ he said in a scene that was broadcast repeatedly on cable news stations Tuesday and Wednesday.
At a special news conference Wednesday, Senegalese Ambassador H.E. Adama Sarr apologized for the airport incident.
In every group, there will be someone who makes mistakes,'' Sarr said, adding that Senegal was a very civilized society.’’
Sarr also said no one informed him the team was supposed to play a friendly game on Monday.
A Foreign Ministry statement also said the game was not part of the agreement signed by both sides. The team only agreed to give ``a demonstration of their soccer skills, match tactics.’’
Both sides blamed the misunderstanding on communication problems, but they never explained exactly what happened.
On Sunday, President Chen Shui-bian plans to leave for a four-nation African trip, which includes Senegal. He plans to hand out hundreds of soccer balls in the impoverished country.
Senegal is one of 28 nations – mostly Latin American and African – that recognize Taiwan. Most other countries don’t have official ties with the island because China argues Taiwan should be under Beijing’s rule.
In exchange for diplomatic ties, Taiwan often rewards its allies with generous amounts of aid and other incentives, a policy critics call ``checkbook diplomacy.’’