No resumption of sports events in coronavirus-scarred China

There had been speculation that the Chinese football and basketball seasons could get going in the next few weeks, after numbers of cases dwindled.

Supporters of China's Wang Qiang during her women's singles match against Serena Williams at the Australian Open on January 24.

Supporters of China's Wang Qiang during her women's singles match against Serena Williams at the Australian Open on January 24.   -  AFP

China's government, on Tuesday, ruled out an immediate resumption of major sporting events, including football and basketball, as the country faces a second wave of coronavirus cases from abroad.

There had been speculation that the Chinese football and basketball seasons could get going in the next few weeks, after numbers of locally transmitted cases dwindled.

But China, where the virus emerged in December before spreading worldwide, says that it is now facing a new threat, of infections from people entering the country from abroad.

The General Administration of Sport (GAS) has now snuffed out any hopes that China's sports scene could soon return to normal.

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“For better epidemic prevention and control, no major sports events like marathons which gather crowds of people should resume,” GAS said in a notice widely carried by local media.

The missive, which singled out China's football and basketball associations, did not give a time-frame when the situation could change.

The Chinese Super League football season was supposed to begin on February 22 but was indefinitely postponed in January by the pandemic.

The Chinese Basketball Association league has also been suspended.