Chinese Coronavirus Wreaks Havoc with ACL Football in Australia

Could we say, “Where there’s smoke, there’s virus?”

Everyone is ready for the bushfires to go away, although that may be a case of being careful what you wish for, as scorched ground is ideal for flash floods.

Now, we learn that the Chinese coronavirus outbreak will prevent Perth Glory and Sydney FC from starting Asian Championship League play, as the federal government has placed travel restrictions on foreign nationals entering Australia from mainland China.

We note, wryly, because coronavirus is a serious issue, that the initials for the Asian Championship League are ACL, and we first thought we had was that we were about to learn about another Anterior Cruciate Ligament issue involving an athlete.

It seems a proper decision, even if the fear factor involving the virus seems to have ascended to a level of hysteria well beyond the actual threat.

It would be hoped the virus outbreak is easier to contain than are the bushfires.

The scheduling chaos is profound.

According to one source, “Since their entry to Australia is blocked, Shanghai Shenhua cancelled their tickets to Australia on Sunday and went to Dubai for preseason training this morning instead.”

That would assume that Chinese clubs Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG, the Chinese clubs intended to come to Australia to play, respectively, Perth and Sydney, would be permitted to enter the United Arab Emirates.

Caution in the direction of excess seems the better path, as coronavirus has sickened thousands and killed hundreds.

The last thing the country needs at this moment is a contagious virus for the sake of playing some football.

The games have been rescheduled to take place between the conclusion of the A-League regular season and finals.

Melbourne Victory also saw their match with Beijing Football Club postponed from March 3 until May 26.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) held an urgent meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday to explore a path forward after Football Federation Australia (FFA) informed the ACL of the travel ban.

For the moment, the plan is to reschedule the matches between the A-League clubs and the Chines clubs within three weeks. Beyond that, it will fall on any host nation with Chinese travel bans in place to arrange for a neutral location.

A Chinese women’s team in in Brisbane, quarantined in hotel, where they have no choice other than to train in the hotel corridors.