August 9 – Covid-19 has once more thrown Chinese football in disarray with matches in the Chinese Super League (CSL) needing to be rescheduled in Haikou, the capital of China’s island province Hainan, due to an outbreak of the coronavirus.
At the moment all of Chengdu Rongcheng, Jinmen Tigers, Shandong Taishan, Hebei, Cangzhou Lions and Guangzhou are based in Haikou, one of several neutral venues being used by clubs this season. Matches that don’t involve these teams will still be played as planned.
The CSL has long laboured under Covid-19 restrictions with most teams unable to play at their own grounds since the end of the 2019 season.
Last weekend, some clubs returned to their home grounds for the first time in three years. Newly promoted Wuhan top the table on 31 points, defeating Guangzhou City 3-0 on Saturday.
The Chinese game has been in turmoil ever since the global health crisis began with serval clubs folding due to new economic realities. Last year, Jiangsu FC closed months after they had been crowned the 2020 Chinese Super League champions. Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic pulled out of the CSL and ceased operations because of rising debts in May.
The CSL is one of a few leagues that will play through the World Cup in November and December after the league was halted in the summer to facilitate China’s national team’s involvement in the East Asian Championship in Japan.
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