Sports, Football

­Wuhan women footballers return to national team

Published : 10 Apr 2020 07:46 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 11:19 AM

Three Chinese women's international footballers including former Paris Saint-Germain forward Wang Shuang have returned to the national team from Wuhan after the city's lockdown was lifted on Wednesday, report agencies.

Wang Shuang, Yao Wei and Lyu Yueyun on Wednesday left Wuhan for Suzhou, eastern China's Jiangsu province, where the national team is training, and had COVID-19 tests on Thursday, a CFA source told Xinhua news agency.

"If their test results were negative, the players will re-join the team after a 14-day medical quarantine," noted the source. The three Wuhan natives have been stranded in the central Chinese city since it was locked down on 23 January, and then missed Tokyo Olympic qualifiers in Australia in February, when the "Steel Roses" successfully advanced to the play-off round, setting to meet South Korea in June this year.

To prepare for the two-round playoffs against South Korea, China's women's national team has called up a 23-player training camp in Suzhou from 2 to 30 April. The three players weren't on the list initially due to the city's epidemic control policy.

China on Wednesday officially lifted outbound travel restrictions on Wuhan, ending a lockdown that sealed off around 10 million people from the rest of the world for 76 days, which marks a milestone in the country's fight against the pandemic.

The 25-year-old Wang, who was named Chinese female Footballer of The Year for the third straight time in January this year, has been widely regarded as the superstar in Chinese women's football. 

Midfielder Yao featured in all four matches during the team's World Cup journey in 2019, while Lyu is a young promising star emerging from university football.

Their return will definitely boost the team's confidence to secure a berth to Tokyo Olympics, which is now scheduled to take place in July, 2021.