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The Financial Express

Coronavirus outbreak

Olympic football qualifiers moved to Sydney from China

Published: January 26, 2020 20:02:14 | Updated: January 27, 2020 09:46:15


Health workers using infrared thermometers to check the temperature of tourists who arrive at Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport, Thailand, on Saturday. -Reuters Photo Health workers using infrared thermometers to check the temperature of tourists who arrive at Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport, Thailand, on Saturday. -Reuters Photo

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) confirmed on Sunday that next month's Tokyo Olympic women's football qualifying matches would be moved from China to Sydney, Australia, amid concerns over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

"In consideration of the widespread of the 2019-nCoV virus across China, after the negotiations with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the CFA decided not to host the qualifying matches to ensure the health of all athletes, coaches and working staff in the participating teams and the successfully running of the important Olympic qualifications," said China's football governing body, reports Xinhua on Sunday.

The Chinese central city Wuhan, where the 2019-nCoV virus was first reported in late December, was originally scheduled to host all matches in Group B of the 2020 Olympic women's qualifiers from February 3 to 9, with China, Australia, Chinese Taipei and Thailand included in the group.

With the aggravating situation in the outbreak epicentre, the AFC on Wednesday decided to move the qualifying matches from Wuhan to Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

However, Chinese authorities reported that 31 cases were confirmed in Jiangsu province by the end of Saturday, with seven coronavirus-infected patients found in Nanjing city.

"According to the assessments of the AFC, Australia will host all the Group B matches of the 2020 Olympic women's qualifiers in Sydney, and the time schedule will remain the same," the CFA added.

The AFC women's football qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo consist of two groups, with South Korea hosting Vietnam and Myanmar in Group A.

The top two teams from each qualifying group will advance to a play-off round to determine which two Asian teams will join hosts Japan at the Games.

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