A-League clubs enter Qatari quarantine

Steve Larkin
·2-min read

Sydney FC coach Steve Corica described his club's journey into a Qatari hub as "eventful".

The Sky Blues, Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory have arrived in Doha before the Asian Champions League (ACL) resumption on Wednesday.

Players and staff donned full protective head-gear for the flights and were tested for COVID-19 on arrival at Hamad International Airport.

"It certainly was eventful," Corica said.

"Wearing the masks and protective equipment is something you have to get used to.

"But due to the nature of overseas travel these days the flight wasn't busy and most of us were able to get a row of seats to sleep.

"That will help the boys get over the jet-lag quicker, as will being confined to their rooms."

The Australian teams were escorted by security to a designated bus and expect their test results within a day.

If cleared, they're allowed to train and use gyms.

Perth meet Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday night while Sydney play Shangai East Asia on Thursday night.

Melbourne Victory face Beijing Guoan the following Tuesday with the A-League sides uncertain how long they will be in Doha.

The ACL was suspended more than eight months ago because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Australian clubs are in the eastern zone along with teams from Japan, South Korea, Thailand and China.

They have four games to play with the last group match scheduled on December 4.

Should an Australian club fail to advance from the group, they will return home and quarantine in time for Christmas.

However, if they progress, the final will be held on December 18 and on return to Australia they will spend the festive season in quarantine with limited training before an A-League campaign starting just days before the new yer.

Australia has had one ACL winner in Western Sydney Wanderers in 2014.