'No games, nothing to do': coronavirus wreaks havoc with Asian football

'No games, nothing to do': coronavirus wreaks havoc with Asian football

11-Mar-2020 11:56:21 | The Guardian

Coronavirus has brought a halt to the J-League, the K-League and the CSL, with the Olympics weighing heavily on minds

Much of football was unhappy when the 2022 World Cup was moved to winter but those extra five months may yet be appreciated. This is especially true in Asia where qualification for Qatar has been delayed as football in the giant continent grinds to a halt in what is usually one of the busiest months of the year. One person at the Korean Football Association said: “I go to the office but don’t do anything. There are no games, no tournaments and not many meetings. We can only wait.”

The coronavirus started to impact Asian football in January. Thailand’s Buriram United were uncomfortable about the prospect of facing Hulk, Oscar and Marko Arnautovic in Shanghai but not, this time, because the Asian Champions League qualifying play-off was a one legged game away from home. What really concerned them was this new virus that was spreading around China. Buriram wondered whether the game should be postponed but were told that it would be played behind closed doors, and Asian football has been playing catch up ever since.

Related: Arsenal players in self-isolation as Manchester City game postponed due to coronavirus

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