Strict coronavirus measures appear to be taking their toll on Chinese Super League footballers, with one saying his head was “spinning” in the claustrophobic “bubble” — and they still have six weeks to go.
Chinese football introduced harsh rules when it launched the CSL season in two bio-secure bubbles after a five-month delay because of COVID-19, which emerged in Wuhan last year.
The 16 teams disappeared into two sealed-off hotels, one in Suzhou and the other in Dalian, a month ago and will not leave until the end of September.
Apart from their hotels, stars such as Oscar, Marko Arnautovic and Marouane Fellaini see only stadiums — where no fans are allowed — and training pitches. They cannot meet their families.
Coaches, support staff, referees and even the hotel workers must also stay in the “Blue” zone, away from the outside world. Everyone is tested for coronavirus once a week.