Matildas' Olympic qualifiers switched to Sydney after virus fears

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The Matildas were all set to fly to China for Olympics qualifying, now the tournament will be played in Sydney due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The Matildas' 2020 Olympic qualifying matches, which were due to be played in China early in February, have been moved to Sydney followingAustralia's national women's soccer team will now play Thailand, China and Chinese Taipei in Sydney given Wuhan, the original host city, is in lockdown. The tournament had previously been moved to Nanjing because of Wuhan's unsuitability.

“The safety of all players, officials and fans is of paramount importance to Football Federation Australia and the Asian Football Confederation, and we are confident we will host a successful tournament here in Sydney.“I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Australian Government in enabling FFA to host this event at short notice.”

This round of qualifying is scheduled for February 3-9. Four other teams will play in South Korea before the top two teams from each group meet in early March in the final qualifying round. Three highly regarded teams - Australia, South Korea and China - are vying for two places in the 12-team Olympic competition. Japan have secured their position as hosts and are not competing in Asian qualifying.The Matildas were eliminated in the quarter-finals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio in a penalty shootout with Brazil after failing to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012.

The relocation of the qualifying tournament is not the first time a competition has been moved away from China. In 2003, China was scheduled to host the Women's World Cup, only for the SARS virus to force its relocation to the US.

 

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Good idea!

50,000 Chinese supporters flying in wont be a problem. has anyone checked all of those who flew in from Wuhan in the week or two before the epidemic started? or all they walked past in the airports? just a thought.

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