Wuhan FC flee from Spain to return to China

Malaga, Spain, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- Wuhan Zall Football Club players have been taking shelter in Spain to avoid returning to their hometown, the place where the coronavirus first emerged, but have now decided to return to China as the outbreak in the Mediterranean country worsens.

The club has been in Spain since 29 January in a bid to avoid the coronavirus outbreak.

Now the team will be returning to China on Saturday as Spain is in the midst of an outbreak with infections rising daily, coach José González, told Efe Thursday.

“The problem is now here. In China it has been practically eradicated,” the coach said.

The team, which has been staying in Cadiz, in southwestern Spain, had not returned to the Asian country due to the Covid-19 epidemic and the fact the league had been postponed.

Chinese health authorities announced Thursday that the coronavirus peak had now come to an end, but this is not the case in Europe where the situation is worsening.

The Chinese team, made up of 27 soccer players, arrived at the end of January at the Malaga-Costa del Sol airport to start a training camp in Sotogrande (Cádiz).

According to the Andalusian Government, no players have presented any symptoms of the disease.

The Spanish managers and scouts of Wuhan Zall youth academy will remain in Spain, despite the first team returning to China.

Manuel Vela, one of the 16 staff members at the club who were evacuated on 31 January from the Chinese city, told Efe that they are working in different Spanish towns preparing training sessions.

He added that he was feeling “perfect”, and that the team keeps in contact with managers and the board of directors in China through the Wechat social network to confirm the good state of health players and the rest of the team.

When asked how the situation in Spain compared to Wuhan, Vela said the behaviour of Chinese and Spanish citizens had been very different.

He recalled how when in Wuhan authorities asked people to avoid crowds, within 24 hours there was nobody on the street without the need for a police presence.

In Spain, despite schools and universities being provisionally close, children are still being taken to the park and young people gather in bars.EFE-EPA


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