Oct 16 (Reuters) - A-League champions Sydney FC may not travel to Qatar for the Asian Champions League (ACL) if the Australian government does not give them permission to train together during quarantine on their return, coach Steve Corica has said.
Sydney, Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory are due to play their remaining ACL group games in a hub in Doha next month but having to quarantine when they return could disrupt preparations for the domestic season, which starts on Dec. 27.
Under current rules designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, anyone arriving in Australia must quarantine for 14 days in a hotel.
“(Without an exemption) we’d have to consider if it’s worthwhile going,” Corica told the Australian Associated Press.
“It’s not really safe for the players to come back here, (quarantine for) two weeks, not train and then go straight into the A-League season.
“We’re working through that now with the government - the club’s looking after that - but I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to come back here, quarantine and train as well.”
The ACL was suspended in March due to the pandemic and West zone games were moved to Qatar when the tournament resumed last month.
Earlier this month, the Asian Football Confederation moved all remaining games for East zone sides from Malaysia to Qatar, where they will take place from Nov. 18 to Dec. 13.
Despite stringent bio-security measures, several West zone teams were affected by the novel coronavirus, with last year’s winners Al Hilal axed from the competition after they were only able to muster 11 players for their final group fixture.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford
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