Wuhan is football, not only coronavirus

How would you feel if you agree to stay for at least two years in a place nobody on earth would wish to be? If you suppose this is a typically theoretical question, just ask Daniel Carico. The 32 y.o. Portuguese centre back had sign a contract three days ago with Wuhan Zall, the Chinese football team from the city-core of the 2019 novel coronavirus!

This would be the first Asian experience for the Portuguese defender. After spending his football youth in Sporting Clube de Portugal, he had travel to Cyprus (AE Limassol), England (Reading FC) and nearby Spain (Sevilla CF) before deciding to accept the Chinese offer. The day the Chinese club announced the transfer, Carico accepted a giant wave of sympathy from fans all over the world, wishing him good luck as if he was travelling in a warzone and endanger his life.

This news, that a Chinese team from Wuhan is still negotiate transfers rather than departures is really bizarre. The virus with code name SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) has already caused the death of over 2.200 people, mainly in the city of Wuhan. Worldwide health organization such as WHO has grappled with the uncontrollable virus spreading, trying to restrict the epidemic in the city of Wuhan, the center of the only recorded outbreak.

In fact, Carico will not have to travel to China immediately, even if his contract binds him with the team from February 15th. He has to wait for another 45 days at least, as the Chinese authorities have cancelled every sports activity in the country until April 1st. This date is subject of change if the situation with the virus victims gets worst.

Wuhan Zall is a Chinese Superleague club, which climbed to 6th position in the last Chinese championship held in 2019. For the 2020 season they’ve agreed with 53-year-old Spanish coach Jose Gonzalez. Carico is their first addition to the roster. But they’ve succeeded on keeping their precious foreign players, Brazilian forwards Rafael Silva and Leo Baptistao and Ivoirian striker Jean Evrand Kouassi.

It’s still unknown when the Chinese league will begin and how teams will agree to travel to Wuhan. Probably in a few months the club will agree moving to another city to hold the home matches, as the danger of spreading the dangerous coronavirus is still very high and will be the same for years, as experts insist.

So far, the only Chinese team which has seen some football action is Beijing Guoan. When the coronavirus was first recorded the whole team was in a training camp in Spain and they didn’t return to China, choosing to continue their preparation in South Korea. That’s why the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) allowed them to travel to Thailand for an AFC Champions League match against Chiangrai United.

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