China’s coronavirus-hit Olympic football qualifier shifted to Sydney

The qualifier showdown will be staged at Campbelltown Stadium on March 11, with the first leg in South Korea on March 6.

The women's football qualifier showdown will be staged at Campbelltown Stadium on March 11, with the first leg in South Korea on March 6. Photo: @CHNWNT/Twitter

The second leg of the Olympic women’s football qualifier, earlier scheduled as China’s “home” game against South Korea, will now be played in Sydney, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Friday (February 21).

The game, which will decide qualification for the Tokyo Olympics, was moved out of the Dragon country after the deadly coronavirus made it impossible to hold the match in China.

The qualifier showdown will be staged at Campbelltown Stadium on March 11, with the first leg in South Korea on March 6.

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“The winners of the two-legged playoff will seal their place in the Tokyo Olympics alongside hosts Japan and winners from the other play-off match, which sees Australia take on Vietnam on the same dates,” the AFC said in a statement.

Similar to every other event in the country, sports in China have ground to a halt because of the coronavirus, which emerged in the central city of Wuhan in December and has killed more than 2,200 people.

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China’s women’s team reached the playoffs after coming through undefeated in three matches in a qualifying tournament in Australia this month, having first spent a week in quarantine in Brisbane.

The competition was initially scheduled to be held in Wuhan.

A raft of sports tournaments have been postponed or cancelled in China, the most prominent being Shanghai’s Formula One Grand Prix on April 19.

(With inputs from agencies)

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