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Quarantined Chinese footballers forced to train in Brisbane hotel corridor | Football

The Chinese women’s football team have been forced to train in hotel corridors ahead of their Olympic qualifying opener in Sydney on Friday. The team has been in isolation at a Brisbane CBD hotel since their arrival in Australia last week due to strict protocols in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Their quarantine does not end until Wednesday, meaning the 32 players and staff have been unable to leave their hotel during the past week and photos of the team stretching on towels in hotel corridors were published by Chinese sports media group Titan Sports on Twitter.

It is understood the team, who have shown no signs of the deadly virus, will arrive in Sydney on Thursday before taking on Thailand in their opening match at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Friday. They then face Taiwan on Monday and the Matildas next Wednesday.

The team was placed in quarantine due to having trained in Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak – within 14 days of their arrival in Australia.

Titan Sports Plus

China Women’s football team’s fixture in the 2020 Olympic Qualifying is rescheduled: China vs Thailand, Feb 7. China vs Chinese Taipei, Feb 10. China vs Australia, Feb 12. 3 matches within 6 days. Due to quarantine, Chinese players have to train in hotel corridors after arrival. pic.twitter.com/XOHbABNWav

February 2, 2020

The virus has played havoc with the qualifying tournament which has been relocated from Wuhan and Nanjing and then Sydney. Officials have had to adjust the match schedules as well to enable the Chinese to compete.

Several players, including experienced star Wang Shuang, were unable to travel to Australia having returned to Wuhan for Chinese New Year celebrations before the city was placed into lockdown.

While her teammates trained in a Brisbane hotel hallway, footage has emerged of Wang kicking a ball with her brother on a rooftop due to being unable to visit a football pitch in her hometown.

Meanwhile, with officials scrambling to find a way to get the opening round of matches for the Asian Champions League group stage played, Perth Glory’s opponents appear to have made their own plans.

Perth were due to kick off their maiden ACL campaign against Shanghai Shenhua on Tuesday at HBF Park in Perth.

The federal government’s restrictions on foreign nationals entering Australia from mainland China in response to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in China has however created a huge headache for organisers.

Last Sunday the FFA advised the AFC neither the Glory match nor Sydney’s clash with Shanghai SIPG next Wednesday can now be played in Australia.

FFA head of leagues Greg O’Rourke is in Malaysia attending an urgent meeting with stakeholders at AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday as a solution is sought.

It seems however that whatever the outcome, Shanghai Shenhua will not be playing Glory next week with reports the team had cancelled their travel plans to Australia.

“Since their entry to Australia is blocked, Shanghai Shenhua cancelled their tickets to Australia on Sunday and went to Dubai for pre-season training this morning instead,” Titan Sports Plus tweeted on Tuesday, adding the club didn’t expect the Glory match to go ahead as scheduled.

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