March 4, 2020 / 3:55 AM / a month ago

AFL moves game from Shanghai to Melbourne due to coronavirus

(Reuters) - The Australian Football League (AFL) said on Wednesday the game between St Kilda Saints and Port Adelaide Power scheduled for May 31 in China had been moved out of the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The round 11 meeting, which was to take place in Shanghai’s Jiangwan Stadium, will now be played on June 7 at the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne.

"The continued worldwide spread of the coronavirus that originated in China in December has forced the League to change its plans for a fourth annual game at Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium," the AFL said in a statement here

The coronavirus, which has killed more than 3,000 people globally and infected thousands, has affected the schedules of several international sports events around the world.

The AFL said tickets purchased for the match in Shanghai will be refunded.

“Our team has monitored the situation in China closely. We have taken advice from the Australian government, the World Health Organization and our chief medical officer,” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said.

“It’s evident that the coronavirus still poses a significant risk internationally and quite simply we will not compromise the health and safety of any of our clubs, supporters and AFL team members.”

(This story corrects headline spelling of coronavirus)

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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