The Chinese Super League announced Friday that it had postponed five upcoming matches because of the “great pressure" posed by the pandemic, as Beijing’s zero-Covid policy continues to disrupt sporting events.
The major Chinese football league is the latest in a line of sporting bodies to reschedule or cancel events in the country, after the World Athletics Indoor Championships — scheduled to be held in Nanjing next March — were postponed to 2025 a day earlier.
The decision was taken “due to the great pressure faced by epidemic prevention and control work in some Chinese Super League match regions, in order to ensure the safety of participants", the league wrote on social media.
The league said the five matches had been postponed “until further notice".
Wuhan Changjiang FC confirmed on its official WeChat page that its upcoming match against Shenzhen FC on Monday had been postponed to an unspecified date.
Chinese football has been struggling of late. The national men’s team failed to qualify for the World Cup and some local clubs are on the verge of bankruptcy, despite massive state-backed investment in top foreign players and coaches over the years.
Beijing’s strict zero-Covid policy is also disrupting international sporting exchanges.
China is currently battling several outbreaks affecting major manufacturing hubs, including the cities of Shenzhen and Chengdu.
Despite successfully holding the Beijing Winter Olympics in February without any signficant outbreaks, a slew of international sporting events to be held in China have since been cancelled or postponed.
In May, China withdrew from hosting the 2023 AFC Asian Cup football tournament, citing the pandemic.