China include three foreign-born players in national squad for first time as team gets ready for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

China has included three naturalised players in the national squad for the first time as coach Li Tie has gathered the side in Shanghai for training.

Reuters May 11, 2020 15:19:04 IST
China include three foreign-born players in national squad for first time as team gets ready for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

China has included three naturalised players in the national squad for the first time as coach Li Tie has gathered the side in Shanghai for training.

Titan Sports reported Brazilian-born Elkeson and Aloisio, and former Arsenal player Nico Yennaris, who was born in England, joined the camp as China begin preparations for 2022 World Cup qualifiers postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

China include three foreignborn players in national squad for first time as team gets ready for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

File image of naturalised China striker Elkeson. AP

Elkeson was the first player of non-Chinese heritage to be called up when he played last year while Yennaris, who played for England’s youth teams, has a Chinese mother and accepted citizenship last year.

Another Brazilian-born player, Alan Carvalho, was also in Tie’s plans but the 30-year-old forward is waiting for travel restrictions to be eased before he can leave Brazil and return to China.

Former Everton midfielder Li replaced Marcello Lippi as head coach earlier this year when the Italian quit following a surprise loss to Syria in a World Cup qualifying match in November.

The national team is set to play two friendly matches against Chinese Super League (CSL) teams Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG.

The CSL, which was scheduled to start on 22 February, was pushed back because of the novel coronavirus outbreak and could kick off in late June.

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