Vietnamese billiards player Tran Quyet Chien withdrew from a friendly tournament in China on Saturday to oppose the use of China's illicit ‘nine-dash line’ map in the live broadcast of Chien’s match, an official confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Sunday.
Deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports Nguyen Nam Nhan said that Chien was invited to a friendly tournament jointly held by the Union Mondiale de Billard (French for the World Union of Billiards) and the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association in Shanghai City on Saturday and Sunday.
The event gathered three other world’s leading billiards players, including Dick Jaspers from the Netherlands, Tayfun Tasdemir from Turkey, and Cho Myung Woo from South Korea.
The match between Chine and Dick Jaspers took place normally on Saturday.
However, an image of China's ‘nine-dash line’ map, which Beijing uses to illegally claim its sovereignty over most of the East Vietnam Sea, was incorporated into the live broadcast during the match.
Chien did not see the image during the match but he was informed of the issue later, Nam said.
The player came to China alone without a coach or assistant.
After the match, Chien discussed the issue with Nguyen Viet Hoa, head coach of the Ho Chi Minh City billiards team, and made a decision to leave the tournament and return to Vietnam the same day.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports frequently reminds coaches and athletes competing in other countries about possible situations and incidents, asking them to be aware of protecting Vietnam’s image and sovereignty, Nam added.