AFC Women’s Olympic qualifiers get new Sydney dates as Chinese wait to clear quarantine

By Paul Nicholson

January 31 – With the Chinese Women’s team currently quarantined in a Brisbane hotel until February 5, the Football Federation Australia (FFA) have announced a revamped schedule for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers that will start February 3.

China will now open their campaign in Group B of the qualification tournament in Sydney on February 6 before playing Chinese Taipei in February 9 and host nation Australia on February 12.

Queensland health officials quarantined the Chinese women’s team is being quarantined in Brisbane over concerns about the possible spread of coronavirus.

The 32 people in the Chinese women’s soccer squad – including players and staff – had travelled through the city of Wuhan 10 days ago, where the outbreak began. The virus has now infected more than 10,000 people with over 200 having been killed by it.

The group were checked by Australian border officials after arriving in Brisbane on a flight from Shanghai on Wednesday morning before being placed in isolation at a hotel. Local authorities said they were working with the team and the hotel’s management to ensure the visitors remained separated from staff and other guests, but that no-one from the group had shown any symptoms of the virus and the team had been travelling with their own doctor.

The Group B qualifying rounds had been scheduled for Nanjing in China before the Chinese FA withdrew citing issues around the spread of the virus and the group was switched to Sydney. The AFC had previously agreed to switch the venue from Wuhan to Nanjing.

FFA Chief Executive James Johnson said: “FFA very much appreciates the collaborative approach displayed by everyone to re-schedule the Olympic Qualification tournament.

“I’d like to thank the CFA for their understanding and cooperation, despite the difficult situation their team and staff have found themselves in since arriving in Brisbane. FIFA, AFC and the clubs have also been extremely flexible and supportive of the changes to the match schedule…

“As always, the health of everyone involved, from players and officials to the fans and contractors, remains the number one priority. This new format allows us to stage these matches with that priority in mind.”

The top two sides from Group B will play off – on a home and away basis – against the top two teams from Group A – Korea Republic, Myanmar and Vietnam – for the final two places, alongside hosts Japan, at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Match Schedule – Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers – Group B 

Matchday 1 – Monday, 3 February 2020

Chinese Taipei v Thailand – 7.30pm (AEDT)

Campbelltown Stadium, Leumeah
Matchday 2 – Thursday, 6 February 2020

Thailand v China PR – 4.30pm (AEDT)

Chinese Taipei v Australia – 7.30pm (AEDT)

Campbelltown Stadium, Leumeah

Matchday 3 – Sunday, 9 February 2020

China PR v Chinese Taipei – 3.10pm (AEDT)

Australia v Thailand – 6.10pm (AEDT)

Western Sydney Stadium, Parramatta

Matchday 4 – Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Australia v China PR – 7.30pm (AEDT)

Campbelltown Stadium, Leumeah

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1600968221labto1600968221ofdlr1600968221owedi1600968221sni@n1600968221osloh1600968221cin.l1600968221uap1600968221


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