Taipei, Sept. 3 (CNA) Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung announced on Monday that the city is planning to host the first Asia-Pacific Youth Games next year following the revocation of its hosting rights for the 2019 East Asian Youth Games.
In late July, the central Taiwanese city was informed by the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) that the committee had revoked Taichung's standing as host of the multi-sport event, widely believed to be due to pressure from Beijing.
The city is seeking legal recourse, including mediation and arbitration, over the matter, Lin said during the unveiling of 12 artistic sporting sculptures that were originally meant for the East Asian Youth Games.
The Taichung mayor also announced that the city will work with the central government to organize and host its own regional competition for young athletes -- the 2019 Asia-Pacific Youth Games.
Lin said the decision to host the games was made after many back-and-forth discussions with the Presidential Office, Executive Yuan and numerous experts, he said.
He added that the Cabinet will hold an inter-departmental meeting this week on the details of the event.
Sport is served best without any political interference, and Taiwan can build its own brand of sporting event which is not subject to outside suppression, Lin said.
The mayor also said he expected the number of participating teams and athletes in Taichung next year to be larger than that of the East Asian Youth Games, adding that those who have the love for sports will all come to show their support for the Asia-Pacific sporting event.
"You have to pick yourself up from where you fell," Minister without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen said.
He added that the government is in full support of the Taichung event next year, adding that Taiwan too can create its own international sporting competition, and that its aim would be to make it better than the East Asian Youth Games.