Former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has become the first Chinese Super League star to test positive for the coronavirus, after it was confirmed that the Belgian star had contracted the virus in the Chinese province of Jinan.
The virus originated from China and has spread throughout Europe, causing a shocking number of fatalities in Italy and Spain, who have been the two most-affected countries in Europe.
But despite the disease surfacing months ago, there had not been a single confirmed case among the Chinese Super League players until Fellaini announced via Twitter he had contracted it on Sunday morning.
Fellaini stated that he 'will follow the treatment and hope to return to the game as soon as possible', before encouraging his followers to 'stay safe'. The 32-year-old currently plays for CSL side Shandong Luneng, after leaving Old Trafford for China in 2019.
The CSL has been indefinitely suspended since early February as the nation attempted to slow the spreading of the deadly disease. And there were whispers that they were looking to resume the season in the coming weeks, but those plans have suffered several blows in recent days.
Firstly, an unnamed member of the playing staff at second division side Meizhou Hakka tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, becoming the first footballer in China to contract the coronavirus.
And if that wasn't enough to push the start dates back, then Fellaini's recent announcement will undoubtedly prevent the CSL from getting back under way any time soon.
European leagues are also contemplating at which point they should return to action, but their proposal to kickstart the campaign in mid-May has provoked the ire of FIFA's medical chief Michel D’Hooghe, who believes this decision would put the players' lives severely at risk.
For the moment, football is itching to get started again, but there are no doubts we must proceed with caution.