Three Chinese Women Footballers Given All-clear After Returning to National Team Training

IANS

Beijing: Former Paris Saint-Germain forward Wang Shuang and two other Chinese women's national team members have tested negative for COVID-19 upon returning to the team's training base from Wuhan, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) said on Friday.

After the 76-day lockdown in Wuhan was lifted on Wednesday, Wang, Yao Wei and Lyu Yueyun left the city for Suzhou, in east China's Jiangsu Province, where the national team is currently training, and underwent COVID-19 tests on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.

"The players received their negative test results on Friday morning. They are currently in good physical condition," read a CFA statement.

"As the players are confirmed healthy, Wang can start regular training from now on, while Yao and Lyu will stay in medical quarantine for another seven days," added the statement, saying that the players are following local epidemic control regulations.

The different quarantine requirements for the three players is determined by China's smartphone-based health code service, which give users color-coded designations based on their health status and travel history, and a QR code that can be scanned by authorities.

Wang was given a green code, which typically allows people to travel relatively freely, while Yao and Lyu have yellow codes, indicating that the holder should be in home isolation. A red code means the user is at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and should be in quarantine.

The three Wuhan natives had been stranded in the central Chinese city since it was locked down on January 23, missing China's Olympic qualifiers in Australia in February, which the Steel Roses won to set up a two-legged play-off against South Korea, currently scheduled for June.

To prepare for the play-off, China called up 23 players to a training camp in Suzhou from April 2 to 30, which Wang, Yao and Lyu were not initially able to be part of.

On Wednesday, China officially lifted outbound travel restrictions on Wuhan, allowing the three to join up with their teammates and ending a lockdown that had sealed off around 10 million people from the rest of the world for 76 days.

25-year-old Wang, who was named Chinese Female Footballer of The Year for the third successive occasion in January, is widely regarded as the backbone of Chinese women's football.

Midfielder Yao featured in all four matches during the team's 2019 World Cup campaign, while university-educated Lyu is considered a promising young prospect.