Sports News

Sydney FC player contracts COVID-19 ahead of Asian Champions League

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sydney FC defender Ryan McGowan has tested positive for COVID-19 in Europe and looks likely to miss the remainder of the Asian Champions League, which will be concluded in Qatar over the next month.

The Australia international flew to Scotland to be with his family after helping Sydney FC to the A-League title in August and was supposed to join the squad in Doha this weekend.

Coach Steve Corica said quarantine meant McGowan would at least be delayed and might have to end up flying straight to Australia to prepare for the new A-League season on Dec. 27.

“He’ll be tested again shortly and will hopefully make a recovery in time to meet up with the boys later in Qatar,” Corica told reporters after Sydney FC beat the Australia Olympic team in a friendly on Thursday night.

Sydney FC resume their Group H campaign next Thursday against China’s Shanghai SIPG after a delay of more than eight months caused by the global health crisis.

The eastern half of the competition will be completed in Doha with the semi-final winners taking on Iran’s Persepolis FC for the continental title in the Qatari capital on Dec. 19.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Richard Pullin