Wuhan football team return after four months locked out of city

Wuhan Zall, the football team based in China's coronavirus epicentre, have returned to the city after nearly four months abroad.

The team were greeted at a train station in Wuhan by fans sporting scarves and posters upon their arrival.

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The 50-member squad left Wuhan on Jan. 2 for a preseason training camp in Guangzhou in advance of the Chinese league season starting in February.

Twenty days into the training camp, the team were told they would not be allowed to return to Wuhan due to the outbreak. Wuhan's lockdown lasted 76 days and only ended in early April.

In late January, the team traveled to the south of Spain for another training camp. Based near Malaga, the team were consistently tested for the coronavirus as locals worried they were carrying the virus and would spread it.

None of the team tested positive for the virus but Spanish coach Jose Gonzalez said that one of them had lost a family member back in China because of COVID-19.

While in Spain, the team watched Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-0 in the Santiago Bernabeu on March 1.

The squad were due to leave Spain in mid-February but the stay was extended as the lockdown in China continued.

When the situation in Europe also started to turn and the Spanish government declared a state of emergency, Wuhan Zall made the decision to leave Spain.

Upon returning to China, the team were based in the city of Shenzen and had to enter mandatory quarantine. The squad was then moved to Foshan before returning to Wuhan on Saturday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.