Sport Football Football: Matildas’ China clash rescheduled after coronavirus delay
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Football: Matildas’ China clash rescheduled after coronavirus delay

The Matildas will not be mixing it with fans or other players for a while. Photo: AAP
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The Matildas’ clash with China is set to go ahead after having their Olympic qualifying encounter delayed until February 12 at Campbelltown Stadium.

Officials were scrambling to re-schedule the game after the Chinese team was this week isolated at its Brisbane hotel because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Football Federation Australia on Friday confirmed the womens’ national team will begin their qualifying tournament against Taiwan in Campbelltown on February 6.

The Matildas then head to Western Sydney Stadium, where they will face Thailand on February 9 before taking on China.

“FFA very much appreciates the collaborative approach displayed by everyone to re-schedule the Olympic Qualification tournament,” FFA boss James Johnson said on Friday.

I’d like to thank the CFA (Chinese Football Association) for their understanding and cooperation, despite the difficult situation their team and staff have found themselves in since arriving in Brisbane.”

It is the third time authorities had been forced to move the matches, which initially relocated from Wuhan to Nanjing.

China withdrew as tournament hosts following the outbreak, prompting the hasty decision to shift the schedule to Sydney.

The Chinese FA says their 32 players and staff are in good health and have shown no signs of the disease, which has killed over 100 and left thousands ill.

Despite showing no signs of the illness, Queensland Health authorities have stated the team will need to stay in isolation until Wednesday – two days after their original first fixture against Thailand.

The schedule will now begin with Taiwan battling Thailand at Campbelltown Stadium on Monday.

The top two nations from Group B will face the top two from Group A – featuring hosts South Korea, Myanmar and Vietnam – in a home-and-away playoff.

The playoff winners will secure their spots as Asia’s representatives along with hosts Japan at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

WOMEN’S OLYMPIC QUALIFYING – GROUP B (all times AEDT)

Monday, February 3 at Campbelltown Stadium

Taiwan v Thailand, 7.30pm

Thursday, February 6 at Campbelltown Stadium

Thailand v China, 4.30pm

Taiwan v Australia, 7.30pm

Sunday, February 9 at Bankwest Stadium

China v Taiwan, 3.10pm

Australia v Thailand, 6.10pm

Wednesday, February 12 at Campbelltown Stadium

Australia v China, 7.30pm