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Chinese football fans skirt spectator ban, cheer teams from hotel rooms

Chinese football fans skirt spectator ban, cheer teams from hotel rooms

Shanghai: Chinese football fans skirted the ban on spectators in stadiums due to coronavirus by renting rooms at a hotel overlooking a stadium.

Supporters of Chinese Super League sides Shanghai SIPG and Tianjin Teda stationed themselves at the Sports International Hotel in Kunshan close to the Kunshan Stadium which is one of the neutral venues for this season's CSL.

The fans were clearly audible throughout the game which SIPG won 3-1.

The current season of the CSL has started over five months late due to the pandemic. To fit the league into the drastically reduced calendar, the 16 CSL teams will play a round robin in two groups with the top four from each qualifying for an eight-team "championship" stage and the remaining eight going into a "relegation" phase.

All matches are happening behind closed doors in neutral venues in the Suzhou and Dalian areas as opposed to the traditional home and away teams within the league.

Earlier, fans of Shanghai Shenhua had gathered in a hotel to support their team as they played the season opener against Guangzhou Evergrande. The phenomenon has resulted in room prices in hotels soaring during match days.

According to state news agency Xinhua, a total of 1,870 individuals from the tournament's two hubs -- Suzhou near Shanghai and Dalian in the northeast of China -- have undergone medical checks, with none of them testing positive for the virus.

— IANS

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