Matildas ignoring threat of Covid after India expelled from Asian Cup

The Omicron outbreak has already claimed the participation of hosts India but the Matildas aren’t concerned of falling victim to the virus.

25/01/2022 12:18:00 PM

The Omicron outbreak has already claimed the participation of hosts India but the Matildas aren’t concerned of falling victim to the virus | SMHsport

The Omicron outbreak has already claimed the participation of hosts India but the Matildas aren’t concerned of falling victim to the virus.

Normal text sizeVery large text sizeAdvertisementBeneath every team at the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup in India is a trapdoor. The Omicron variant is sweeping through the host nation with more than 300,000 cases reported daily. Already,it’s claimed the participation of the locals after an outbreak within the Indian camp prevented the hosts from fielding the minimum team

, leading to their expulsion from the tournament after just one group game.Despite having tight bio-security measures in their hotel and training base in Mumbai, the Matildas aren’t immune from a potential outbreak within their camp. Due to Asian Football Confederation regulations requiring a minimum match squad of 13 players, including two substitutes, it takes just 11 active cases within a squad for a team to be removed from the competition.

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to save articles for later. Normal text size Very large text size Advertisement Beneath every team at the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup in India is a trapdoor. The Omicron variant is sweeping through the host nation with more than 300,000 cases reported daily. Already, it’s claimed the participation of the locals after an outbreak within the Indian camp prevented the hosts from fielding the minimum team , leading to their expulsion from the tournament after just one group game. Despite having tight bio-security measures in their hotel and training base in Mumbai, the Matildas aren’t immune from a potential outbreak within their camp. Due to Asian Football Confederation regulations requiring a minimum match squad of 13 players, including two substitutes, it takes just 11 active cases within a squad for a team to be removed from the competition. Matildas celebrate their win over the Philippines in India Credit: Getty So far, the Matildas have been safe and avoided contact with any cases. Testing is regular within their bubble and no player has contracted the virus since forming camp. As far as white noise goes, the potential to fall victim to an outbreak and suffer the fate of India is ominous. However, the Matildas are doing their best to ignore the rising tide of the pandemic in India. “It’s a pandemic and we are ensuring we do all that we can but the sole focus for us is football,” Matildas midfielder Emily van Egmond said. “We are here to perform, here to do a job and for us to continue putting our best foot forward on the park. We’re trying not to focus on the outside noise and only what we can control.” The Matildas have all-but sealed their passage to the quarter-finals. A 4-0 win over a Philippines side coached by Alen Stajcic on Monday night means they only need a draw against Thailand on Friday morning to claim top spot in their group. Australia are outright favourites to take all three points from that game and could even qualify for the knock-out stages with an unlikely defeat, however van Egmond hinted there may not be widespread changes to a side to allow senior players a rest before the quarter-finals. “We have a plan, we want to win against Thailand and have a good statement going into the quarter-final games,” van Egmond said. “I think the most important thing is we have 23 players who are healthy and available.” Loading Meanwhile, Macarthur FC will have gone more than a month without playing an A-League game after Wednesday's match against Perth Glory was postponed on Tuesday afternoon. Perth reported several positive cases of COVID-19 among their players, coaches and staff. The postponement is the fifth successive for Macarthur who were the shock league leaders before the outbreak of the Omicron variant wreaked havoc upon the A-League. The Bulls had won four of their six games of the season, losing just once before facing the postponement of five games straight. They last played on Boxing Day against Sydney FC and won't feature again until February 6 against Wellington Phoenix, should that match take place. Save