Netizens slam sports groups for listing HK, Macao as countries

By Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/21 20:58:40

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suggests China's Macao as a country on its official website. Photo: screenshot of IAAF's website

Chinese internet users slammed international sports organizations, including the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for listing Hong Kong and Macao as countries. 

The Global Times reporter on Wednesday found both Hong Kong and Macao were listed as "countries" on the BWF's website, without any explanation and a China-related suffix. 

Moreover, websites of the International Basketball Federation, International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) and International Table Tennis Federation also listed the two special administrative regions separately without the suffix of China.

The Global Times also found that Macao appeared under the category of countries without a "China" suffix on the website of the International Association of Athletics Federation.

The wrong listing of Chinese territories sparked online uproar. Some suspect the sports organizations did it intentionally. 

"It is disgusting. I think we have an obligation to defend our national sovereignty," said a web user on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Others blamed these sports organizations for their carelessness in dealing with matters related to China's sovereignty.   

Analysts said that although these sports associations are major single-sport organizers, their use of member names has been very casual and their regulation is very loose.  

Proper names of sports organization members are listed on the website of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and every other organization should refer to it, Wang Dazhao, a sports commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Members of single sports associations also have their standard names which international organizations should stick to, Wang said, noting that the use of the full names, flags and anthems are clearly regulated in international sports events.  

The IOC said Hong Kong is listed as "Hong Kong, China." Macao is not a member of the National Olympic Committee, but its regional Olympic committee writes "China" after Macao on its website and logo.

"The international sports organizations should immediately correct their mistakes and apologize," Luo Le, a Beijing-based sports commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday.  

Wang noted that Chinese people hold a firm attitude towards affairs related to national sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

Chinese consumers in mid-August called for a boycott of luxury brands, including Versace and Coach, after finding that they listed Hong Kong and Macao as countries.

Newspaper headline: Netizens slam sports groups over HK, Macao identity

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