MANILA, Philippines —The match between China and France in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) men’s division scheduled for Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum has due to health and safety protocols.
The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) announced on Monday evening that China won’t be able to field six players in their 3 p.m. match against France, which will automatically award a 3-0 victory for the French Spikers.
“The Chinese men’s national team is unable to field six players for the match, which was due to take place in the Philippines on 22 June, due to medical circumstances related to COVID-19,” the world volleyball wrote in a statement. “The FIVB and Volleyball World have therefore confirmed the cancellation of the match with an automatic forfeit for China giving France a 3-0 win.”
“The FIVB and Volleyball World apologize to the athletes and fans for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation. As always, the primary concern of the FIVB and Volleyball World is protecting the health and wellbeing of our athletes, officials, and fans.”
China’s next game is on Thursday against Germany. France will make its Quezon City leg debut against Netherlands on the same day at 3 p.m.
China wasn’t the first team that suffered from COVID-19 outbreak as Thailand women’s volleyball squad also needed five replacement players after eight members contracted the virus during their Leg 2 last week.
Japan also had members who tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the cancellation of its friendly against the Philippine men’s volleyball team Thursday last week.
The VNL Quezon City leg opens on Tuesday with Slovenia and Netherlands clashing at 3 p.m. before Japan battles Argentina at 7 p.m.
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