Sengalese Soccer Team

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Originally posted by NFI: Yes, Taiwan is a damn BACKWATER. As evidenced by the hopeless coverage of the games with their split screens, annoying ads. I have watched games this year in Indonesia & Thailand (where the people actually like sport)and it craps over this abysmal telecast in Taiwan.

It makes me verrry angry. If you tried this crap abroad, there’d be letters to editors, and it would be the hot topic on every talkback show. No not here, you’d hardly be aware it was on at all for all lack of interest by Taiwanese! The only exception seems to be all this hu ha about Senegal’s visit.


So Taiwan is “backwater” because their coverage was loaded with commercialism and they split their screens? Hmm…wonder if America is backwater too with all the endless ads, annoying endless slow mo’s and playbacks, meaningless chatty commentaries. Nobody cares about soccer here either. What World Cup??

Point aside, you know that they renamed Houston Astro’s Enron stadium to Minute Maid Park? You know, the orange juice company. It just cracked me up.

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Originally posted by O'Brian:

Ah…ganja, beer and Dutch whores in the windows…well, the ganja and beer are ok.


Ganja?

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Originally posted by cranky laowai: After all, the games have been broadcast here on regular -- not pay -- cable channels. And all of them have been broadcast. This compares very well to, say, soccer-loving non-backwater Germany.

Right. Not to forget it was a German (Leo Kirch) who purchased the world wide rights for the broadcasts and thus didn’t allow any digital broadcast except on his own “Premiere” (pay tv). Btw, he is basically bankrupt now…

The TV were saying on Sunday that the Senegalese team would play a friendly match against Taiwan’s Tatung (Datong) team on Monday. I assumed it would be on Monday evening. On Monday morning at 11 am I was surprised to hear on the TV news that the match was about to start. Since the stadium is right near where I live, I hopped on my bicycle and went over to watch. Frankly, the fact that this match was to be played at midday was reason enough for the players to refuse. It was baking hot, and the few hundred spectators there were cowering in whatever shade we could find. The spectators were a bit disappointed, as were the Tatung team who were there in their kit, but just got left standing around. However, I don’t think any of the spectators were angry enough to go smashing up the office of the Sports Council - that was more likely done by some rent-a-mob hired by politicians or media who seem so desparate to make a mountain out of this molehill.

As to the story about mainland prostitutes going to their hotel, if you believe that hundreds of foreigners took part in a drug orgy in Taibei last Saturday, as has been alleged by newspapers, TV and some politicians, then you can believe the prostitute story, too*. A lot of the players were accompanied by their wives and girlfriends, you may have noticed. TVBS also called one of the players “arrogant” for asking the US dollar price of something when it was quoted to him in NT dollars - perfectly understandable, I would have thought, for someone who had been in Taiwan for less than 24 hours, being whisked from pillar to post the whole time. And it seems to me perfectly reasonable that the visitors would expect to fly the long plane journey back to Senegal in business class after 45 days away from home and as official guests of the ROC government. In my opinion, the Senegalese have been messed around by the Taiwan government and insulted by the media. If I were them, I would be thinking about shifting the Senegalese embassy over to Beijing.

*Only this time it was not DPP-ers spreading the rumour, but that nutcase Qin Huizhu/Chin Huei-chu (秦慧&#29664) from the People First Party. Send them all to the funny farm, I say.

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Originally posted by Maoman: Not trying to provoke anyone here, but if anyone is playing in Barcelona, Munich, Milan, or Amsterdam, and used to the standard of living afforded footballers in those places, then Taiwan must seem to be a bit of a backwater. It probably didn't help that they were parked in Taipei's dumpiest "5-star" hotel. The rooms in the Lai Lai don't really compare to the Hyatt, the Regent, the Westin or even the Sherwood. Heck, the Howard Plaza is a step up.

That’s not true. According to China Post they were put up at The Grand Hotel.

Oops, my bad. I made that judgement based entirely on the interview with the (French?) Hotel Manager taken in the lobby. It looked to me like it was the Lai-Lai. I don’t remember the Grand Hotel looking like that at all, but it has been a few years since I was last there…
I wonder then, where the alleged hookers were procured - I remember the Grand Hotel as being a pretty sleepy place. The Lai Lai, on the other hand was swarming with them. Especially that sleazy little club Mix 50/90. And they weren’t at the top of their game either - some of those ladies looked like they’d been plying their trade for some time…

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Originally posted by Juba: ...And it seems to me perfectly reasonable that the visitors would expect to fly the long plane journey back to Senegal in business class after 45 days away from home and as official guests of the ROC government. In my opinion, the Senegalese have been messed around by the Taiwan government and insulted by the media. If I were them, I would be thinking about shifting the Senegalese embassy over to Beijing.

They’d be pretty stupid to switch embassies to Beijing. The Chinese govt would give them SHIT compared to the MILLIONS they get from Taiwan for maintaining diplomatic relations. I think some of these 3rd world countries take advantage of Taiwan’s isolation, knowing full well that the country desperately wants to seek out diplomatic ties with other nations and is willing to pay for it. I just can’t imagine the Sengalese would go to the U.S. (or Europe or Japan) after being invited with all expenses paid IN FULL and BITCH in public and to the media about petty little things like not getting business class seats. And if they did, I highly doubt the American public or media would take it well. I think they did it because it’s ONLY Taiwan, so they don’t care about being extremely disrespectful and friggin rude. Irregardless if Taiwanese govt officials made mistakes, then you voice your complaints to them in PRIVATE, not in public for the media to broadcast and embarrass the whole nation and make the Taiwanese citizens look and feel bad.

And Juba, they did get business class seats, except for that whiner, since there weren’t any seats left. The papers said the govt. bought seats based on the number of people the Sengalese told them. It’s not their fault they added more people. And the govt. threw them banquets, and they stayed at The Grand, and gave them gifts, and paid for all meals. And if they didn’t like all that “BAD TREATMENT”, then they SHOULD move their insignificant little embassy to Beijing and see if the Chinese would treat them any better. Would I like to see the treatment they’ll get there!!!

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Originally posted by thyrdrail: ...they did get business class seats, except for that whiner, since there weren't any seats left. The papers said the govt. bought seats based on the number of people the Sengalese told them. It's not their fault they added more people. And the govt. threw them banquets, and they stayed at The Grand...etc. etc.

Who says they added people? A certain number of Senegalese plus their European coach arrived on Sunday, and I should have thought the same number of people left for Senegal on Monday. Surely their Taiwanese hosts know how to count. Where are these extra people supposed to have come from? A report I heard said that the outgoing plane was delayed because several of the Senegalese went and sat in the business class section and wouldn’t budge, which conflicts with your version where only the agent was put in tourist class. Besides, it seems unlikely that all the Senegalese would be in business class with just one guy demoted to tourist - and he was doing his complaining before boarding the plane. And the hotel didn’t look like the Grand to me. I thought it was the Sheraton. That’s the Lai Lai Sheraton, isn’t it?

Finally, if having one’s embassy in Beijing is a stupid choice, how come nearly all the African countries have their embassies there? The only exceptions are, I think, Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Sao Tome e Principe, Swaziland and Malawi - all of which are very small countries in terms of population. It’s a bit hard to keep track because some African countries, like Burkina Faso, Sao Tome and the Central African Republic, like to get a change of scenery from time to time by moving to and fro between Beijing and Taibei. The populous countries like Nigeria, Egypt, D. R. Congo and South Africa are in Beijing for good, as is the richest country in Africa, which is Libya.

Hmm, just finished watching the news and they said that the team was put up in the Lai Lai. So I retract my earlier retraction - Lai Lai, NOT Grand Hotel…

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? Jesus. It’s just one guy who was having a bad day, misses his home after a lengthy absence and to make matters worse, he has to sit in economy class when most of his mates are in business class and his piles are acting up again, so he turns into a grouchy asshole. Or something like that. Don’t tar the whole team with the same brush. Obviously he doesn’t give a hoot about his country’s foreign policy, just as most Taiwanese wouldn’t give a hoot about how they represented their country if they were caught in Senegal. As a matter of fact, wasn’t there a scandal recently about diplomats and aid workers from the ROC fathering illegitimate children in Africa? And those guys get paid to represent the country! Yeesh!

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Originally posted by Maoman: Do you mean the one unhappy agent? Jesus. It's just one guy who was having a bad day, misses his home after a lengthy absence and to make matters worse, he has to sit in economy class when most of his mates are in business class and his piles are acting up again, so he turns into a grouchy asshole.

Or maybe he was the one with the hooker who “WANTED TO DO IT FROM BEHIND BUT SHE SAID NO CUZ IT WAS TOO BIAN TAI!!!” I’d be grouchy too!

That’s pretty funny O’Brian.

Sorry, while you guys were studying French in school, I was learning to read Egyptian hierogliphs…
So what is the English translation of what the agent said?

Originally posted by Juba:

quote[quote]Finally, if having one's embassy in Beijing is a stupid choice, how come nearly all the African countries have their embassies there?[/quote] Money is a big part of it, as you know. But even some countries that have switched relations to Beijing do not have any great love for China or hostility toward Taiwan.

When I lived in China, I met many Africans the Chinese government had sponsored to come to China for medical school. Sounds like a good thing for Sino-African ties, right? Except these guys were subjected to all sorts of racism, not to mention police harrassment whenever one so much as looked at a Chinese woman. (Not to let Taiwan off the hook, but racism is much worse in China than here.) Most of them came to hate China, a feeling that stewed in them all the more because they were sent there for up to six years of training without any money for vacations at home.

quote[quote]The only exceptions are, I think, Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Sao Tome e Principe, Swaziland and Malawi - all of which are very small countries in terms of population. It's a bit hard to keep track because some African countries, like Burkina Faso, Sao Tome and the Central African Republic, like to get a change of scenery from time to time by moving to and fro between Beijing and Taibei. [/quote] I know what you mean about it being hard to keep track of this. See my chart in progress at [url=http://www.romanization.com/chart3.html]www.romanization.com/chart3.html[/url]

Having studied in Beijing for four years, I know about the African students’ problems in China. Those problems are also dealt with in a wonderful but hard-to-get out-of-print book called “The Star Raft” by Philip Snow, about China’s relations with Africa through the ages. Anybody else here read it?

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Originally posted by wolf_reinhold: Sorry, while you guys were studying French in school, I was learning to read Egyptian hieroglyphs....So what is the English translation of what the agent said?

Mergatroid’s version:

“Moi, je vous regarde comme un backwards coontrie et je vous asssure que si je suis jamais sur une aeroplane encore une fois, je dois vraimwent fais la col sur tous les reporters et batards de la press parce ce que je suis un agent first-class et je ne vol jamais dans le economie classe! Je fais la haine pour la Taiwane parce que la presse ice , la media, et folle! Faitez moi le con!”

Juba’s attempt at a more proper French version:

"Moi, je vous regarde comme un pays arri

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Originally posted by Juba:

…A report I heard said that the outgoing plane was delayed because several of the Senegalese went and sat in the business class section and wouldn’t budge, which conflicts with your version where only the agent was put in tourist class. Besides, it seems unlikely that all the Senegalese would be in business class with just one guy demoted to tourist - and he was doing his complaining before boarding the plane.

Finally, if having one’s embassy in Beijing is a stupid choice, how come nearly all the African countries have their embassies there?


From what I read and heard it was just that one stupid agent that didn’t get a seat. Other people in this post said the same. Although I did see one article that mentioned several Senegalese were unhappy, most articles mentioned just that one person. And I already told you Taiwan shells millions to keep other countries from switching to Beijing. These countries get more money, aid and attention than China would ever give them, IF China would give them anything at all!! And someone in this post mentioned that the Chinese are very racist against Africans, which is totally true. So Senegal would be stupid to switch ties. The fact that Senegalese Ambassador H.E. Adama Sarr apologized for the airport incident on T.V. proves they obviously value Taiwan’s ties more than with Beijing.

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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.’’

I think the Senegalese (well, that one guy) f**ked up. Period.

AFP

Well now, Cranky Laowai thinks money is a big part of the reason most African countries have diplomatic relations with Beijing instead of Taibei, but Thyrdrail thinks they can get much more money from Taibei. So if money were the main thing, they should all be over here, shouldn’t they?

The explanation for this is that although a lot of African countries are short of money, it isn’t their only concern. In many international fora, like the United Nations etc., they have to deal with the people who are really running China, not the remnants of a regime that was deposed in 1949 and got booted out of the UN in 1970. Taiwan’s money might come in handy and may even be more than what Beijing gives, but Taiwan has precious little else to offer.

Actually the agent was speaking English at the airport too, something like
‘I was supposed to be in business class, now I’m in economy, the government wanted us to come here not us we had no choice, it’s been 45 days since we left and I’m hungry. You media are stupid ‘assh$les’ and finished with Get Lost, Get Lost!’

In French and in English, impressive.