Beijing, March 23 (IANS) The Chinese women's football team was fortunate to have avoided being stuck in the then-novel coronavirus outbreak center Wuhan by cutting short its training camp, the team's midfielder Zhang Xin was quoted as saying by media on Monday.
The Chinese side, which was training in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, to prepare for the group B ties of the 2020 Olympic qualification tournament, released its players to go home for the Spring Festival holidays on January 22, one day before Wuhan was locked down.
"If our training camp had not ended earlier than planned, we would have got stuck in Wuhan. I still feel frightened at the thought of the possible consequences," Zhang told Shanghai-based Oriental Sports Daily as reported by Xinhua news agency.
The training camp was originally planned to last beyond the Spring Festival holidays, Zhang said.
The playmaker of the Chinese side, Wang Shuang, who stayed on in Wuhan to spend the Chinese Lunar New Year with her family, got stuck there and had to sit out of China's group games, which took place in Sydney, Australia.
When the Chinese team arrived in Brisbane, Australia on January 29 to play the group ties, they were put through one week-long quarantine without being informed in advance.
"Our life during those quarantine days was rather bitter, worse than our expectation," Zhang said.
Video showed that the Chinese players had to train at corridors of the hotel where they were isolated.
The Chinese side finished second of group B and will play South Korea in the playoffs in June.