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China men's football team to fly back home on chartered plane amid virus concerns

(Xinhua)    09:40, March 17, 2020

BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese men's football team has decided to charter a plane to fly back to China after being forced to cut short its training camp in Dubai, United Arab Emirates amid COVID-19 concerns.

The team, whose training camp had been originally scheduled to end on March 20, was alarmed to see more and more confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported around them, a team insider told Xinhua on Monday.

"The team has decided to call an end to the training camp earlier than planned and charter a plane to fly the players back to China," he said.

The departure date of the Chinese side remains undecided as the team, since different Chinese cities have adopted varied quarantine policies, is choosing a preferable destination, the source added.

The Chinese men's team kicked off the training camp on March 4 to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers against the Maldives and Guam.

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

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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