Wuhan was supposed to host China, Taiwan, Thailand and Australia for the Group B qualifiers February 3-9, but they will now be held on the same dates in the eastern city of Nanjing.

A staff member (C) disinfects at the Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province early on January 22, 2020.
A staff member (C) disinfects at the Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province early on January 22, 2020. (AFP)

Next month's women's Olympic football qualifiers in Wuhan have been shifted to Nanjing, the Asian Football Confederation said on Wednesday, following an outbreak of the new coronavirus in the central Chinese city.

At least 17 people are confirmed to have died and as many as 440 infected from the new SARS-like coronavirus now spreading across China after an outbreak in Wuhan.

"The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has agreed to the proposal by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) to move the Asian Qualifiers Final Round - Group B from Wuhan to Jiangning Football Training Centre in Nanjing," the continental governing body said in a statement.

The dates of the February 3-9 tournament remain unchanged with top two teams qualifying for the playoff against group B counterparts for the final two places, alongside host Japan, at the Tokyo Olympics.

Travel advisories 

Australia has issued a travel warning for Wuhan, asking visitors to "exercise a high degree of caution," but their head coach said on Tuesday they were preparing for a Wuhan trip.

Australia will play Taiwan on February 3, Thailand three days later and China on February 9.

Taiwan's football association said on Wednesday the sports administration had asked the AFC in December to change the location due to fears about the health of players.

If the venue was not changed then Taiwan's team would not participate, the association added.

Taiwan, where one case of the coronavirus has been detected, has called on people not to visit Wuhan unless they absolutely have to. 

Source: Reuters