Wuhan football team land in Spain despite virus fears

Members of Wuhan Zall FC Chinese football team arrive at the Malaga’s Costa del Sol Airport on January 29, 2020. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)


MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Chinese football team Wuhan Zall were allowed to enter Spain on Wednesday for a training camp near Malaga, despite fears of spreading the coronavirus.

The virus broke out in December in Wuhan in central China and has already killed 132 people and infected 5,974 in the country’s mainland.

Yet Wuhan Zall, who play in the Chinese Super League, have been given permission to land in southern Spain, where they have organised a training camp in the town of Sotogrande.

Regional health authorities have said none of the group are sick and given they have not been in Wuhan since January 2, the maximum period for monitoring has passed.

“The Wuhan Zall Chinese first division team arrived this morning at Malaga airport from Istanbul and Shanghai, without showing any symptoms related to the virus,” said the Andalusian health authority in an official statement.

As a precaution, doctors were sent to Malaga airport “to greet the players” and “be available to the squad,” the health authority added.

“No additional examinations were necessary. The medical team confirmed that none of them showed symptoms.”

Wuhan Zall are carrying out preparations ahead of the 2020 Chinese Super League season and plan to stay in Spain until the middle of February.

© Agence France-Presse