Chinese soccer officials are considering moving a World Cup qualifying match next month away from the southern city of Guangzhou because of a fresh outbreak of the SARS virus.

The preliminary qualifying match for the 2006 World Cup between China and Kuwait may be moved to Shanghai or the cities of Wuhan in central China or Liuzhou in the south, the Xinhua News Agency has reported.

China cancelled several events during last year’s outbreak, including the women’s football World Cup, which was transferred to the United States.

Guangzhou had China’s first confirmed SARS case of the season last month, and two suspected patients have been hospitalized.