Taiwan, which has been praised for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, is grabbing the attention of global sports fans.
While major sports leagues have been brought to a halt around the globe due to COVID-19, Taiwan resumed professional baseball and football on Sunday for the first and fifth time in the world, respectively.
The Chinatrust Brothers and the Uni‑President Lions returned to Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium to open a new CPBL season. The CPBL was going to have 150 spectators in the stands but decided against it based on the government’s advice.
The opening game, which had baseball fans excited, was scheduled on Saturday. Originally, the Chinatrust Brothers and the Rakuten Monkeys were going to play with Esmil Rogers who played for Hanwha and Nexon as the starting pitcher. However, it got delayed to the next day due to rain.
Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) opened a new season in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan City and Tainan at the same time. The Chinese Taipei Football Association live-streamed on YouTube the game between Taipower FC and Tatung F.C., which won the last three seasons in a row.
The regular season of the SBL, Taiwan’s professional basketball league ended successfully on Sunday after Bank of Taiwan played against Jeoutai Technology and Yulon Luxgen Dinos against Taiwan Beer. The SBL playoff begins in May.
Taiwan has implemented strict containment measures since January, which included a travel ban on arrivals from China and a maximum 40 million-won fine for anyone who violated restrictions. Thanks to such efforts, Taiwan has successfully contained the outbreak only with fewer than 400 confirmed cases and six fatalities. Against this backdrop, its sports leagues have safely returned.
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