The Chinese Super League will start on July 25 in two locations: Suzhou and Dalian, the Chinese Football Association confirmed.
The Chinese top-flight football league’s 2020 campaign was slated to kick off on February 22, 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first phase of the season will be played in tournament style among 16 teams behind closed doors in the two locations.
Further plans have yet to be unveiled.
Though no further detail like fixtures as well as how games will be played was revealed in the CFA announcement, thanks to the follow-up reports of multiple press outlets, at least a vague picture of how the CSL will happen can be drawn.
First, the division of the 16 teams will go as the following, according to Tencent Sports:
Division A in Dalian: Guangzhou Evergrande, Jiangsu Suning, Shandong Luneng Taishan, Henan Jianye, Dalian Professional, Guangzhou R&F, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua and Shenzhen.
Division B in Suzhou: Shanghai SIPG, Beijing Sinobo Guoan, Wuhan Zall, Tianjin TEDA, Chongqing Dangdai Lifan, Hebei China Fortune, Qingdao Huanghai and Shijiazhuang Ever Bright.
According to Xinhua, the CFA will discuss the specific game plan with the teams in Shanghai on July 6. Xinhua’s source said that each team will play 14 games in the first state and finish all of them in late September. Then the season will be suspended for the Chinese national team to prepare and attend the last four games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in October and November.
All games in the first stage will happen behind closed doors.