SYDNEY (AP) — An Olympic women’s qualifying soccer tournament will proceed but China’s match with Australia will be delayed because of the visiting team’s continuing isolation at a Brisbane hotel due to the coronavirus.
Football Federation Australian officials said Friday that Australia will now play China on Feb. 12 at Campbelltown in western Sydney. China was originally scheduled to play Thailand on Monday of next week.
Officials were scrambling to reschedule the matches because the Chinese team is being held in isolation at the Brisbane hotel since arriving from China. The team is expected to be released from quarantine next Wednesday.
Chinese officials say their 32 players and staff are in good health and have shown no signs of the disease, which has killed 170 in China.
It is the third time authorities have been forced to move the matches, which initially relocated from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, to Nanjing. China withdrew as tournament hosts following the new outbreak, prompting the decision to shift the tournament to Sydney.
The top two countries from Australia’s Group B will face the top two from Group A — South Korea, Myanmar and Vietnam — in a home-and-away playoff. The playoff winners will secure their spots as Asia’s representatives along with hosts Japan at the Tokyo Olympics in July.
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