BEIJING, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese men's team is reportedly worried about their naturalized players' fitness as they could possibly choose to skip the remainder of the Chinese Super League season.
All the four naturalized players of the Chinese team are from Guangzhou FC. As the Guangzhou club, hit by financial crisis, cannot pay their players' salaries, their naturalized players could refuse to play for the eight-time champions in the CSL second phase of this season, which will kick into action on December 12, some Chinese media reported.
Striker Ai Kesen has decided to fly to Brazil to take holiday. Another striker Luo Guofu and defender Jiang Guangtai could do the same if the Guangzhou club cannot meet their salary demands, a source close to the Chinese side said.
"The Chinese team is rather worried, as if they skip the CSL games to take holidays, it will be very hard for them to keep fit to play at the next World Cup qualifiers," he said.
The Chinese side, which completed their mandatory two-week quarantine after returning to China from their 1-1 draw with Australia, will take on Japan in their next World Cup qualifier on 2022 January 27.
Another naturalized player A Lan flew back to Brazil to visit his family after the Australia game.
"He has had enough and said goodbye to us at the dressing room," said China head coach Li Tie.
Speculation abounds about Li's future as national team coach after he was accused of erasing his team sponsor's logo and plugging several products in the pictures he posted on his social media account.
Some reports said that Li has tendered his resignation and Li Xiaopeng, the head coach of CSL side Wuhan FC, will succeed him at the Chinese national team.