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China moves Group A World Cup qualifiers to Dubai due to covid-19

A surge in covid-19 cases has forced China to move the Group A 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifying games to Dubai.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Asia Qualifiers - Second Round - Group A - Guam v China - Suzhou Olympic Sports Center, Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China - May 30, 2021 China's Lei Wu celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates REUTERS/Aly Song

The Chinese Football Association announced a sudden change of plans concerning the Group A qualifying fixtures for the Qatar 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup as they have been moved from the Chinese city of Suzhou to Dubai in the UAE due to a surge in Covid-19 cases that have hit some of the participating national teams.

The qualifiers have been stalled on several occasions due to covid-19 spread before it was decided that the games would be held over two weeks in a health bubble in the Chinese city. However, new Covid-19 cases among the Syrian and Maldives national teams caused the transfer of the fixtures from Suzhou to Dubai.

The Syrian federation later confirmed the news revealing that the rest of the fixtures will be held in UAE, having declared earlier that the health visas of several players and staff members hadn't arrived which would delay the expedition's flight.

In its official statement, the Chinese association explained that due to the recent Covid-19 infections among some of the participant teams' squads, they would have to be subjected to strict quarantine procedures once they landed in China which would prevent them from playing their scheduled fixtures. This is why the Association complied with the Asian Football Federation's suggestion to hold the fixtures in Dubai.

Syria is currently leading the group with 15 points followed by China in second on 10 points and the Philippines in third with 7 points.


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