Women's Sport: Virus outbreak in Wuhan caused Olympic qualifying to be moved

The Group B matches will now take place in Nanjing

A virus outbreak in Wuhan has caused several Women's football qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 to be moved from the city.

The Asian Football Confederation will now move the matches to Nanjing, the home of men's Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning. 

Third Round Group B fixtures between China, Australia, Taiwan, and Thailand were set to be played in Wuhan, between February 3-9.

The move to Nanjing in the east was said to be proposed by the Chinese Football Association.

Football qualifiers are not the only spot affected by the outbreak, boxing bouts that were set to take place next month in Wuhan will now be moved elsewhere

So far the virus has been fatal, causing 17 deaths. As well as this, a minimum of 440 has been infected. The Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome-like coronavirus that was initially found in China, has now spread to the United States.

The cause of the outbreak is said to be due to seafood sold in a market and has been thought to be similar to a SARS outbreak that killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

Prior to the AFC statement, Taiwan's Football Association said it would withdraw from the fixtures, citing "the safety of players is our top priority". 

Both China, Australia, and Thailand are all entering into the Third Round qualifying stage, while Taiwan qualified for the next round after winning all three of their group games, against teams such as Philippines, Iran, and Palestine.

Australia is the highest-ranked side in the group, sitting seventh in the world rankings. The Matildas boast players such as new-Chelsea forward Sam Kerr, Chloe Logarzo, and Hayley Raso. 

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