KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The Asian Football Confederation has switched match venues for Chinese clubs in the Champions League group stage because of travel restrictions amid concerns over the outbreak and spread of coronavirus in China.
Thus far the AFC, after discussions with the Chinese FA, has ruled only that games set for matchdays one, two and three will be rescheduled as away matches.
However further travel controls and the response of neighbouring governments may lead to more drastic reactions.
Iranian clubs must also play away in the first three matchdays because of security concerns.
An AFC statement on the Chinese situation said:
After close consultation with the Chinese Football Association (CFA), the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) can confirm that the home matches of the Chinese clubs in the AFC Champions League Group Stage on Match Day (MD) 1, 2 and 3 will be rescheduled to be played as away matches by swapping the match order with opponent clubs.
In the meantime, the AFC will closely monitor the situation before deciding further on the home matches of Chinese clubs on MD4, 5 and 6.
The decision, which was also made in conjunction with the competing clubs from the respective groups, is a precautionary measure to ensure the safety and well-being of all participating players and teams in view of the current coronavirus outbreak in the People’s Republic of China.