Chinese ready for restart but locked-in players ask for some ‘stress’ relief

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July 6 – Former Chinese international Zhao Junzhe has asked the organisers of the Chinese Super League (CSL) to take steps to reduce players’ stress  when the 2020 campaign finally gets under way behind closed doors later this month.

The 16-team CSL, originally scheduled to start on Feb. 22 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will kick off on July 25 with clubs based in two hubs – Suzhou near Shanghai and Dalian in the northeast of China.

“This needs some measures to help the players relax, and we are inquiring with the Chinese Football Association about that,” Zhao, chief executive of Shijiazhuang Ever Bright, was quoted as saying by state news agency Xinhua. “Some recreational facilities will be needed in the teams’ hotel.”

Jiangsu Suning midfielder Wu Xi echoed Zhao’s views.

“As we’re to play a league in a closed environment, I hope the organisers will find some ways to ease our players’ stress,” he added.

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