Players suspended for 6 months for breaking virus curfew

Sports

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese Football Association says six members of the national under-19 squad have been suspended for six months for violating coronavirus control measures by leaving training camp at midnight to go drinking.

The 35-player training camp in Shanghai began on May 17 and ended Saturday.

“It was a severe violation of the team’s epidemic control regulations, and caused negative impacts on the whole team,” the CFA was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The six players will have to sit out all matches through Nov. 30. They also face further punishment from their respective clubs. Players in China have no official organization to represent their interests and it wasn’t clear if there was any way to appeal the ban.

“They all realized the seriousness of the situation. It is a loss to the team, and of course, it will have greater effects on the players themselves,” head coach Cheng Yaodong was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The under-19 team is to play in the Chinese third division in the upcoming season to give players more competition in preparation for upcoming Olympics.

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