— Published 23 August 2021

China will no longer play at home

Qatar 2022

With less than six months to go before the Beijing Winter Games, China no longer contents itself with cancelling all international sporting events scheduled to take place on its soil. It has also asked its national teams to play all their competitions abroad, including the matches initially scheduled in China, because of the sanitary crisis and travel restrictions imposed on foreigners. The men’s football team, still in the race for the 2022 World Cup Asian zone qualifiers, is preparing to leave for three months abroad in the next few days. Their coach, Li Tie of China, has warned his players that they should be prepared not to return to China until the end of November. China’s group also includes Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Oman for the final stage of the 2022 World Cup qualification process. The top two teams in the group will earn their place at the World Cup, with the third team going into the play-offs. China will meet Australia on September 2nd in Doha, and Japan five days later, also in Doha. They will play all the matches they should have played at home on neutral ground.