Guangzhou Evergrande, the eight-time Chinese Super League champions, will finally get the chance to to begin the defence of their Chinese Super League title on Saturday — more than five months late.
Guangzhou play Shanghai Shenhua at the Dalian Sports Centre Stadium while Wuzan Zall take on Qingdao Huanghai at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.
The league was originally set to start on February 22 but was postponed indefinitely because of the spread of the coronavirus, which first emerged in China.
Sixteen teams have been divided into two groups to play without spectators in hubs at Dalian and Suzhou, near Shanghai, for a 14-round first phase of the league until September 28.
All players and staff were subjected to COVID-19 tests at airports on their arrival, and the tests will be conducted every week.
Team hotels will be closed for public including the players’ family and friends for more than two months, while the squad, referees and the hotel staff will be barred from leaving the restricted areas.