Premier League clubs set to avoid pre-season tours of Asia over coronavirus fears

AIPS
Premier League clubs set to avoid pre-season tours of Asia over coronavirus fears

The Premier League itself is at risk over coronavirus fears, with games set to be played behind closed doors.

Premier League clubs are turning their back on tours to the Far East as the Coronavirus outbreak threatens their pre-season preparations this summer.
Top-flight sides regularly embark on trips out to Asia each year as part of their attempts to open up lucrative commercial markets.
But SunSport understands that virtually none of the teams is pursuing trips to the area and the rest of the Asian market as the coronavirus threat continues to grow. In China alone, there have been a reported 80,000 cases, with over 3,000 dead.
Of the 14 clubs who responded to requests, only one has failed to rule out the Far East as a destination they are looking to visit this summer. Instead, of the outfits who are plotting long-haul trips, the majority are eyeing trips to the United States.
A number of Premier League teams are in talks to take part in the International Champions Cup competition which pits top sides against each other globally.
ICC organisers Relevant Sports have already taken the decision not to host any matches in Asia, having initially planned to stage games in Singapore and mainland China.
They are now limiting planned friendlies to the US and are themselves keeping in touch with American health officials to ensure they can offer safe tours to the top flight teams.
A statement said: “Relevant Sports Group has been closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation globally and after weeks of consultation with various partners, we have made the difficult decision to not host matches in Asia this summer.
"The health and safety of fans, clubs, players, staff and partners are our top priority and we believe this is in the best interests of all parties involved.
"Asia remains a key component of our global growth strategy and we look forward to hosting matches in the market in the near future.”
The Premier League itself is at risk over coronavirus fears, with games set to be played behind closed doors.