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Sydney to host Matildas' Olympic qualifiers as coronavirus takes hold in China

Australia's Olympic qualifiers have been moved to Sydney following the virus outbreak in China.

Sydney will host the Matildas' Olympic qualifying group matches against China, Taiwan and Thailand after the Asian Football Confederation elected to move the games away from Nanjing due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The Group B games were originally moved from Wuhan -- the source of the outbreak -- to Nanjing but will now take place in Sydney in February after the Chinese Football Association withdrew as host and the AFC nominated Sydney as the replacement host after working with the Australian officials.

"The safety of all players, officials and fans is of paramount importance to Football Federation Australia and the Asian Football Confederation, and we are confident we will host a successful tournament here in Sydney," Football Federation Australia chief executive Chris Nikou said in a statement.

"I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Australian Government in enabling FFA to host this event at short notice."

Match schedules, kick-off times and broadcast details are yet to be announced.

Australia will play China, Taiwan and Thailand in Group B.

The winner of group B will play the runner-up of Group A, with the runner-up to play Group A's winner.

Those playoffs will be home and away legs, with the two winners of the playoffs qualifying for the Olympics alongside hosts Japan.

The Group A games are being played in South Korea. There are only three teams in Group A -- South Korea, Myanmar and Vietnam -- after North Korea pulled out in December.


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