Tue, Jan 28, 2020 - Page 8 News List

Olympic qualifying, Fed Cup relocated due to coronavirus

AFP, SYDNEY

Olympic women’s soccer qualifiers and a Fed Cup tennis event have been shifted out of China due to growing concerns over the 2019 novel coronavirus, while an indoor athletics event has been scrapped, officials said on Sunday.

The soccer tournament had already been moved from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, to Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, but is now to be held in Sydney, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said.

“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,” Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou said in a statement.

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) took the decision to relocate the Olympic qualifiers — which involve Taiwan, China, Australia and Thailand — after cases of the virus came to light in Jiangsu Province, Xinhua news agency reported.

No date has been given for the rearranged tournament, which was originally scheduled to start on Monday next week.

Separately, the International Tennis Federation said that next week’s Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I event has been moved from Dongguan, China, to Kazakhstan because of increasing travel restrictions.

“The decision to move the event to a different venue was taken due to increasing travel restrictions in China at the present time and followed consultation with independent security advisers,” the federation said.

The team event — involving Taiwan, China, India, South Korea and Uzbekistan — is to be held in the Kazakh capital on the originally scheduled dates, Tuesday to Saturday next week.

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