Soccer-No coronavirus cases in Chinese Super League, more fans due - Xinhua

Sept 30 (Reuters) - The Chinese Super League (CSL) has found no novel coronavirus infections among players, staff and match officials since the beginning of the season in July and more fans are likely to be allowed into matches soon, the Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 23,019 tests were administered to individuals in the tournament’s two hubs - Suzhou, near Shanghai, and Dalian in the northeast of China - and none tested positive for the virus, the state news agency reported late on Tuesday.

“The results prove that our precaution guideline is effective, which will boost our confidence for the following tournament,” Dong Zheng, general manager of the CSL, told Xinhua.

The season began behind closed doors but a limited number of fans were allowed into stadiums this month.

Dong said the league was planning to allow more spectators into matches in the second phase of the season, which begins on Oct. 16.

“The specific numbers are still under discussion. The basic principle is to open all matches to our fans,” Dong said.

China has largely stamped out its coronavirus epidemic, which emerged in the central city of Wuhan late last year, and many restrictions have been lifted. (Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru Editing by Robert Birsel)