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Chinese women's team to play Olympic qualification playoff home leg abroad due to virus

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-02-14 09:39
Players of China celebrate for a goal scored by Tang Jiali during the Women's Olympic Football Tournament 2020 Qualifiers match between Australia and China in Sydney, Australia, Feb 13, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - The Chinese women's football team will have to play their home leg of the final-round of Olympic qualification on foreign soil amid novel coronavirus concerns.

China, who drew 1-1 with Australia in their final Group B match on Thursday, finished runners-up to qualify for the playoffs where they will face South Korea over two legs on a home and away basis.

China will play the first leg in South Korea on March 6, and the return leg will be played five days later at a place the Chinese Football Association (CFA) have yet to decide on.

"Our home leg cannot be played at home due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, we have to move it abroad," a CFA source said.

The CFA once planned to move it to Japan, but the East Asian country announced that from Thursday on Chinese citizens carrying passports issued by Hubei and Zhejiang provinces should be denied entry to Japan.

"The captain of our women's team Wu Haiyan is from Zhejiang, we cannot play without her, so we have to abandon the plan to move our home leg to Japan," the CFA source said.

"The CFA will consult the team before making a decision on this. It is a rather complicated issue," the source added.

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