John Mary of Shenzhen FC gestures after the 17th round match against Shijiazhuang Ever Bright at 2020 season Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Oct. 28, 2020. (Xinhua/Pan Yulong)
Shenzhen FC has loaned John Mary the Japanese J-League as the Cameroon striker tests positive for COVID-19 in his native country and cannot return to China immediately in compliance with China's pandemic control policies.
BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Shenzhen FC forward John Mary will go to play in the J-League on loan as he could not enter China due to pandemic restrictions.
The 27-year-old Cameroon striker tested positive for COVID-19 in his native country, and in compliance with China pandemic control policies, he will have to wait for some time to get permission to return to China. That probably means he will miss some matches of the Chinese Super League 2021 campaign, which is expected to kick off in April, so the Shenzhen club decided to rent him to play in the Japanese top flight.
John Mary (R) of Shenzhen FC shakes hands with Ruan Zhexiang (C) of Qingdao Huanghai during their 19th round match at the postponed 2020 season Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Nov. 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Jiangwen)
The player confirmed that fact in a public letter issued on Friday.
"Due to recent pandemic situation, I cannot return to Shenzhen in time for the new season," he said in the letter.
"To avoid longer waiting and to keep in good form, I would like to take a chance to play in J-League. This is a new challenge and I am quite confident to keep my goals there," he said.
Mary promised to come back to Shenzhen FC when the season ends.
"This is my 4th year in China. The country has given me so many things. I will come back at the end of the season and hope to fight for you again," he said. (by Ma Bangjie) ■