Beijing, June 16 (IANS) Veteran coach Rafael Benitez and former FC Barcelona midfielder Paulinho have arrived in China after being locked out by coronavirus. The pair will now face 14 days’ quarantine. The season is also yet to start.
Dalian Professional Football Club coach Benitez, 60, wrote on the Twitter-like microblogging website Weibo on Monday that he was “back in China” via Stockholm. He has previously coached sides like Real Madrid and Liverpool.
Guangzhou Evergrande player Paulinho was pictured landing in China early on Tuesday, as per local media reports.
A long list of foreign footballers had been locked out of China as the country fought to stop coronavirus cases.
The likes of former West Ham United striker Marko Arnautovic — now with Shanghai SIPG — are yet to return.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) recently announced that they have hired three leading medical experts to provide advice on starting the new season, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to start the 2020 season of Chinese Super League (CSL), the CFA invited renowned epidemiologist Zhang Wenhong, who is the head of Shanghai’s COVID-19 clinical experts team, and two other doctors as the association’s anti-epidemic experts.