Chinese Super League 2020 kicks off with preventative measures in place
Published: Jul 26, 2020 05:39 PM

Players at the Chinese Super League 2020 Photo: cnsphoto

Suspended for almost half a year because of COVID-19 epidemic, the Chinese Super League (CSL) 2020 resumed on Saturday, with virus prevention and control measures in place to prevent coronavirus spread, following a rise in cases in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province.

The participating Chinese Super League teams arrived in Dalian and entered the closed training area upon their arrival. As of Friday, all the soccer players and coaches have undergone a second round of nucleic acid testing and all results are negative, said Gao Hongbo, vice president of the Chinese Football Association.

This came after two communities in Dalian were classified as virus high-risk zones, according to a press conference held by the local government Thursday evening, making the city another epidemic hot spot.

Affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, the CSL has revised its competition system for the season, dividing it into two divisions - in northern Dalian and southern Suzhou, with eight teams in each division.

In order to prevent the risk of the disease spreading during the matches in Dalian, corresponding hotels and training venues are strictly closed and quarantined, Zhao Lian, deputy director of Dalian Municipal Health Commission, told a press conference on Saturday, noting that the participants are divided into three color-coded zones - the blue zone, the green zone and the purple zone where the club staff are allowed to temporarily watch the games.

"Without the approval of the executive office of the competition divisions of the CSL Leading Group for Epidemic Prevention and Control, it is prohibited to leave the closed area (blue area) without permission, and non-closed area (green area) personnel are not allowed to enter the closed area without permission," said Zhao at the meeting.

Meanwhile, nucleic acid testing sites are set up in hotels and sports venues throughout the competition period from Friday till late September. All club personnel will undergo nucleic acid testing once a week and can only join the training and competition if their test results are normal, according to the Dalian health authorities.

There were 13 confirmed new local COVID-19 cases reported in Liaoning Province on Saturday, of which 12 cases were in Dalian.