China football team fatigued after COVID-19 hit training camp

Beijing, April 9 (IANS) China’s men’s football team players had grown mentally fatigued at a training camp prolonged by COVID-19.

The Chinese side finished the 34-day long training camp on Monday after going through an obligatory two-week quarantine, Xinhua news agency writes.

“This training camp was affected in many aspects by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. It is reasonable for a group of strong men to grow fatigued mentally after having stayed together for one month,” a Chinese insider was quoted as saying by the Guangzhou-based Soccer News.

“But at least we were still able to work out, that is better than stay at home having nothing to do,” he said.

The Chinese team flew back to China on March 23 from the training camp, which kicked off in Dubai on March 3, before being put under the 14-day quarantine in Sanya, Hainan province.

They were isolated in a seaside hotel where they were not allowed to leave for the first four days, according to the Soccer News report.

From March 27, they held some outfield training in isolation until the quarantine was lifted. They were tested twice for COVID-19 during the quarantine with no positive results reported.

The Chinese team held the training camp for two World Cup qualifiers against the Maldives and Guam, which had been scheduled to take place on March 26 and 31 respectively behind closed doors in Buriram, Thailand.

However, due to the escalating spread of the coronavirus in Thailand, these matches have been postponed to undecided dates.

The Chinese side currently sits second of five teams in AFC qualifying Group A with seven points from four games, eight points behind group leaders Syria.