Ethnic Chinese UK soccer pro wants to join Taiwanese team
By Joseph Yeh, The China Post
June 26, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- An ethnically Chinese soccer player who currently plays at a professional club in the United Kingdom has recently expressed a desire to play for Taiwan's national soccer team.
Timothy Chow (周定洋), who plays for Wigan Athletic Football Club, based in Greater Manchester, has recently expressed his wish to play for Taiwan's national soccer team in international events, soccer commentator Ginola Chen (陳家銘) told The China Post yesterday.
According to Chen, who introduced Chow to Taiwan's soccer association, the 20-year-old's grandfather was born in China and had moved to Taiwan for business following World War II. His family background makes him eligible to represent Taiwan.
Chow's grandfather later settled in the United Kingdom.
Chen said that Chow showed soccer talent at early age and joined Wigan's youth squad at the age of 10.
He signed a contract with the team when he reached 18 years of age.
The midfielder is now captain of the Wigan under 21 team and a highly regarded player who is expected to push for a place in the Wigan first-team in the near future, Chen said.
Chen said he found the player online while looking for ethnic Chinese players who might be willing to join Taiwan's national squad to boost the team's competitiveness.
Chen established contact with Chow and made the pitch. According to Chen, Chow's father told his son that he should join Taiwan's national squad because his family has a deep connection with the island nation.
The British-Chinese player recently told Chen that he is willing to represent the country on the international stage.
If everything goes smoothly, Chow could play for Taiwan in the East Asia Cup, which is to be held this November, Chen added.
According to Chen, the 180-centimeter tall athlete would definitely be a level-one player if he chose to compete on the Asian stage.
The infusion of Chow into the national squad would certainly lift the nation's competitiveness in the future, he said.
Taiwan, playing under the name Chinese Taipei, now rank No.176 among the 207 squads listed by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).
Chen previously recruited Xavier Chen (陳昌源), a Belgium-born Taiwanese soccer player, to Taiwan's team.
Xavier Chen made his international debut for Taiwan against Malaysia on July 3, 2011, scoring the winning goal in front of a record-breaking 15,335 fans in Taipei.
This marked the first time in a decade that the national squad beat an opponent that was ranked in the top 150.