China's quarantine-hit Olympic football qualifiers to go ahead

China's national women's soccer team (Getty Images)
China's national women's soccer team (Getty Images)

Sydney - China's national women's soccer team - currently in quarantine at a Brisbane hotel - will be allowed to play a series of Olympic qualifiers in Australia over the next two weeks with only slight changes to the schedule.

The squad's first game against Thailand will be held on February 6 - three days later than planned - to allow their two-week isolation to conclude as a precaution against a coronavirus currently spreading across China.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) said it had worked with authorities in China and locally to reschedule the fixtures. 

The China side will also play Taiwan on February 9 and Australia on February 12.

"As always, the health of everyone involved, from players and officials to the fans and contractors, remains the number one priority," said FFA Chief Executive James Johnson.

"This new format allows us to stage these matches with that priority in mind, and we now look forward to welcoming all teams and hosting a successful tournament."

Queensland state Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said no-one from the group, reportedly 32-strong including officials and staff, had shown any symptoms.

The quarantine had been a planned precautionary measure, she added.

China's Football Association said four players, including Wuhan-based star midfielder Wang Shuang, had been forced to miss the trip because they were in quarantine at home, although none was showing symptoms of the virus.

The tournament was initially scheduled to be held in Wuhan - ground zero of the outbreak - from February 3 to 9. It was then moved to Nanjing in eastern China and later to Australia. 

loading... Live
England 92/4 (28 ov)
Pakistan 326
loading... Live
England 92/4 (28 ov)
Pakistan 326
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
44% - 5671 votes
Cricket
11% - 1402 votes
Football
19% - 2379 votes
Athletics
2% - 290 votes
Boxing
1% - 112 votes
Cycling
2% - 287 votes
Golf
5% - 627 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1012 votes
Tennis
3% - 401 votes
Water sports
1% - 111 votes
American sports
1% - 124 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 365 votes
Vote