Chinese clubs hold South Korean players back as they ready for Champions League in Qatar

November 11 – Chinese clubs Beijing Guoan and Guangzhou Evergrande have refused to release their players for South Korea’s upcoming international friendlies in Austria.

In August, the world governing body FIFA relaxed the rules on the release of players for the first time “in light of the recent evolution of the coronavirus pandemic”. Clubs are no longer required to release their players to represent their national teams if it would involve a mandatory period of self-isolation of five days or more on arrival or return from international duty.

According to Yonhap, the two Chinese Super League clubs have invoked that rule. The Korea Football Association (KFA) said Guoan defender Kim Min-jae and Evergrande defender Park Ji-su were not part of the squad for Korea’s upcoming friendlies. 

South Korea have two matches lined up in Austria during the international break. The Koreans play Mexico on November 14 in Vienna before they encounter Asian Champions Qatar in the outskirts of the Austrian capital. 

Guoan and Evergrande will travel to Qatar to play in the AFC Champions League. Doha has become the hub to stage the continent’s prime club competition during the coronavirus pandemic. The Emirate hosted the West Zone and will now stage the remaining East Zone group stage matches as well as all remaining knockout matches and the final. 

The South Korean pair would be excluded from participating if they had travelled to Austria because Qatari government guidelines require quarantine. 

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1606273774labto1606273774ofdlr1606273774owedi1606273774sni@o1606273774fni1606273774

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