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Coronavirus fears forces Olympic qualifier move to Sydney

/ 10:00 PM January 26, 2020
Coronavirus fears forces Olympic qualifier move to Sydney

A worker wearing a hazardous materials suit stands at the entrance to a subway station in Beijing, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. The new virus accelerated its spread in China, and the U.S. Consulate in the epicenter of the outbreak, the central city of Wuhan, announced Sunday it will evacuate its personnel and some private citizens aboard a charter flight. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

SYDNEY — Fear over the deadly viral outbreak in China has forced the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to move an Olympic qualifying event to Australia.

Sydney will replace Nanjing, China for the February 3-7 tournament, which had already been moved from Wuhan, the city at the center of the crisis which remains in lockdown. The illness has already caused 56 deaths.

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AFC issued a release Sunday saying the Chinese Football Association had withdrawn as host of the tournament, which includes Australia, China, Taiwan, and Thailand.

The Chinese federation said that it was taking the decision to withdraw because of the “current situation” of the virus in China.

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The top two sides from Group B will playoff — on a home and away basis — against the top two teams from Group A – South Korea, Myanmar, and Vietnam — for the two places at the Tokyo Olympics.

Earlier Sunday, the International Tennis Federation moved a regional Fed Cup qualifying event from China to Kazakhstan next month.

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TAGS: 2019-nCoV, AFC, Asian Football Confederation, Australia, China, coronavirus, Football, Health, international news, News, Olympics, Sports, World, world news, Wuhan Virus
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