Coach Li Tie is taking a tough line with his players on and off the pitch as he attempts to rescue China's hopes of reaching the World Cup for only a second time.
It is known as the "May 19 Incident" and by some estimations it haunts China's national football team 35 years on.
FIFA has announced the postponement of the latest round of World Cup qualifiers in Asia.
The Chinese national team have a match against the Maldives on 26th March. According to 'AS', the Federation is working so that, if the coronavirus continues to be a threat in the country, the match is played in Thailand.
Former Everton midfielder Li Tie said on Sunday that he has realised a childhood dream by becoming coach of China.
Australia named a 24-man squad for their World Cup qualifier against Jordan later this month.
Marcello Lippi was accused Friday of neglect and delivering "a slap in the face" amid grumblings that China's coach is not doing enough to justify one of the highest salaries in football management.
South Korea's footballers had no idea their surreal World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang would be played in an empty stadium -â a match Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min described as "very aggressive" and one official likened to warfare.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he was "disappointed" after attending a historic but bizarre World Cup qualifier between North and South Korea that had empty stands and no live broadcast.
North and South Korea played out a surreal 0-0 draw in front of an empty stadium and with no TV coverage as Australia smashed seven past Taiwan in Asian World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.