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Virus-hit China to play two World Cup qualifiers in Thailand

21 February 2020, MVT 21:37
(FILES) This file photo taken on October 10, 2019 shows a fan waving the Chinese national flag as others cheer during the World Cup 2022 qualifier football match between China and Guam in Guangzhou. - The coronavirus exposes an ignorance of China's lucrative sports market and poor contingency planning, experts say, after Formula One became the most high-profile casualty of a mass pullout from the country. PHOTO: STR / AFP
21 February 2020, MVT 21:37

China will play their 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Maldives and Guam behind closed doors in Thailand because of the coronavirus, the Chinese Football Association said Friday.

It is just the latest disruption to sport in China, the epicentre of an outbreak that has left more than 2,200 people dead in the country and sparked global alarm.

China will play the Maldives on March 26 and Guam on March 31 at Chang Arena, in Buriram.

The Thai government asked that both games take place without any fans because of the coronavirus, the CFA said.

The Guam match was originally supposed to take place there, and is nominally a home match for them.

China are in danger of missing out on the Qatar 2022 World Cup because they are second in qualifying Group A, eight points behind leaders Syria.

Only one team automatically goes through to the next qualifying stage for Qatar.

Hong Kong, China | AFP

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