Popovic airs concerns about coronavirus

Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic wants their ACL game in South Korea postponed due to the coronavirus.
Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic wants their ACL game in South Korea postponed due to the coronavirus.

Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic wants next week's Asian Champions League match in South Korea postponed following an outbreak of the coronavirus.

Glory are scheduled to play Ulsan Hyundai FC next Wednesday at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium.

An outbreak of the coronavirus in South Korea has left Glory worried about the fixture.

The situation is so dire that the start of South Korea's domestic season has been indefinitely postponed.

Ulsan want their ACL game to go ahead behind closed doors, but Glory are not keen on the idea.

And they are receiving little help from the ACL governing body, who have told Glory to come to an agreement with Ulsan about rescheduling the fixture.

Popovic would prefer the game to be postponed.

"We do have concerns for this game and we've relayed our concerns," he said.

"There's been an outbreak in the virus very close to Ulsan, where we need to be playing.

"We are getting some advice on that now. Our preference is that if it's that close to Ulsan, we'd rather postpone the game.

"We need to get some clarity on that - that it's safe for the players and staff to go there. If we don't get that requirement, then it will be very difficult for us to travel."

Glory take on the Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday, and are due to depart for South Korea after that match if the ACL game still goes ahead.

It's been a big few weeks for Glory, who made their ACL debut in Japan while also dealing with the bizarre planned sale of the club to a cryptocurrency group.

That sale has since fallen through after reports surfaced about the murky history of London Football Exchange.

Glory owner Tony Sage has been heavily criticised for even contemplating selling the club to the group, but Popovic leapt to his defence.

"The man's constantly looking at how can we make Perth Glory better," Popovic said.

"My association with him is that Perth Glory is No.1. He thinks, 'What can I do as an owner to try and help Perth Glory have sustained success, compete with the big boys - not just in the short term, but also in five or 10 years time?'

"That's all the man's trying to do. If it didn't work out, it didn't work out, and we'll move on accordingly."

Australian Associated Press