Yani Tseng turns down $25 million

September, 22, 2010

How much is your citizenship worth to you?

Well, to Yani Tseng and her family, it's reportedly worth more than $25 million over five years.

Tseng, the No. 4 ranked golfer in the world who owns five career wins including three major championships, turned down a sponsorship offer from a Chinese company that came with the stipulation she change her citizenship to Chinese, according to a report in The China Post.

"We cannot change the nationality," her father, Tseng Mao-hsin, was quote by Apple Daily. "So we rejected it right away."

In international competition, it's not unheard of for athletes to change nationalities in order to play for a national team in such sports like baseball and soccer.

So why is it such a big deal? Well, these are two countries (China and Taiwan) that can't even agree on what to call each other. Much of the world calls the island nation Taiwan while China refers to the country as Chinese Taipei.

What's next, North Korea offering a South Korean athlete a sponsorship deal? Those two nations are still technically at war since the 1950s. How about Pakistan kicking in some money for a top-notch Indian cricket player with the prerequisite of changing citizenship papers? Not gonna happen.

Tseng turned down the deal, which was likely an effort to land China one of the world's best female golfers in the run up to the 2016 Summer Games where golf will be an Olympic sport for this first time since 1904.

Kevin Maguire is the golf editor for ESPN.com. He can be reached at Kevin.Maguire@espn.com.

Kevin Maguire is the senior golf editor for ESPN.com.



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