March 25 – After seemingly getting a hold of the spread of Covid-19, China, the country where it all started, is also the first place where football could be about to resume again.
Teams in the Chinese Super League have been returning to training this week as the coronavirus outbreak in the country eases but it is not yet known when the league will be able to begin.
The sport was suspended in February before the season got underway.
While mid-April had been touted as a possible date for the CSL’s return, a positive test returned at the weekend by former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini may have pushed that back.
“We trained at a modest level, mainly focusing on strength and conditioning,” Shanghai SIPG defender Yu Hai told Shanghai TV after his club’s opening session on Monday. “It’s the first day that we are back to training, and the intensity will be gradually increased for sure.
“We are professional players, we should be able to overcome whatever obstacles lie in front of us. I believe with effort from everyone at the club we can stick together and overcome this difficult period together.”
Japan’s J-League, meanwhile, is set to return on May 9 after a hiatus of more than two months despite the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics. The top flight had been planning to resume matches on April 3 but that plan was shelved after a meeting on Tuesday and put back a month.
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