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Chinese national football team quarantined in Australia

A total of 32 people — including players and staff – will be kept in isolation in a Brisbane hotel until next Wednesday.

(Heng Sinith/PA)

The Chinese women’s national football team has been quarantined in Australia over concerns about the spread of coronavirus, health officials said.

Queensland state chief health officer Jeannette Young said 32 people — including players and staff — had travelled through the virus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan a week ago.

The team will be kept in isolation in a Brisbane hotel until next Wednesday.

The group arrived in Brisbane on a flight from Shanghai on Tuesday before border officials placed them in isolation.

They are travelling with a team doctor and none has shown symptoms.

It comes as the outbreak hit a series of sporting events in China.

The international ski federation on Wednesday cancelled the first World Cup races scheduled for testing the mountain venue for alpine skiing at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. A men’s downhill had been scheduled for February 15 at Yanqing to start a two-race weekend.

FIS said in a statement that it would advise later if the downhill and super-G races will be be rescheduled.

That followed a decision by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to postpone Pro League games in China, and qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled in February in football, basketball and boxing, being moved outside China.

The Chinese women’s hockey team was due to host Belgium for two games on February 8-9 in Changzhou. Those were postponed on Tuesday by the FIH, citing “current uncertainties around the outbreak of the coronavirus in China”.

The governing body said it was “following the recommendations of the World Health Organisation”, ahead of future matches. China is scheduled to host Australia for two games on March 14-15.

The biggest upcoming event in China is the Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 19, which draws large crowds for the race and for practice and qualifying.

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The Shanghai International Circuit hosts F1 (David Davies/PA)

The Shanghai International Circuit hosts F1 (David Davies/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

The Shanghai International Circuit hosts F1 (David Davies/PA)

Also under threat is the March 13-15 indoor track and field world championships in Nanjing.

Olympic qualifying events scheduled in China in February to help decide entries for the Tokyo Games have also been affected in recent days.

Women’s football and women’s basketball games were moved to Australia and Serbia. The football games had already previously moved from Wuhan, at the centre of the outbreak, to Nanjing.

Boxing tournaments for the Asia and Oceania regions will be held in Jordan in March.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike acknowledged her concern about the virus ahead of the Olympics.

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The Olympic Stadium in Tokyo (Adam Davy/PA)

The Olympic Stadium in Tokyo (Adam Davy/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

The Olympic Stadium in Tokyo (Adam Davy/PA)

“With only 177 days to go and our preparations accelerating, we must firmly tackle the new coronavirus to contain it, or we are going to regret it,” she said. ”I will do the utmost to contain this new problem as we co-operate closely with all of you.”

Games organisers put out a statement on Wednesday, saying: “Counter measures against infectious diseases constitute an important part of our plans to host a safe and secure games,” and officials will “carefully monitor any incidence of infectious diseases and we will review any counter measures that may be necessary with all relevant organisations”.

PA