Ebola: Morocco insists on postponement of African Nations Cup

Issa Hayatou

The Kingdom of Morocco is willing to let go of the hosting rights for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, having expressly reaffirmed that it cannot stage the tournament as scheduled between January 17 and February 8.

The Confederation of Africa Football, CAF, had given Morocco up till Saturday, November 8 to make up its mind on hosting the tournament on the said dates.

However, Moroccan authorities insisted that they could only host the competition if it was moved to June 2015 or even January 2016.

Morocco had expressed fears of staging Africa’s biggest soccer tournament at this time largely because of the Ebola outbreak, which has already killed nearly 5,000 people across the world.

While prominent football personalities, including the duo of Super Eagles captain, Vincent Enyeama, and former world footballer of the year, George Weah, have openly canvassed the postponement of AFCON, CAF has surprisingly stuck to its guns.

The Africa football governing body said the tournament would go on even if it meant getting another host country.
At the CAF Executive Committee held in Algiers last Sunday, the Federation had firmly rejected an earlier request from Morocco. It explained that the tournament would not be moved as they are committed to holding it every odd year.

The Moroccan Sports Ministry, however, refused to yield and vowed to stick to its request of a postponement.
A final verdict is now being awaited on Tuesday, November 11 after CAF’s executive committee meeting, which will hold in Cairo.

South Africa hosted the last edition in 2013 in which Nigeria’s Super Eagles emerged champions.

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