Africa Soccer Body to Decide Next Month on Moving Cup Over EbolaAndre Janse van Vuuren
The Confederation of African Football will meet Morocco, the country set to host next year’s continental soccer finals, next month about whether the tournament will be postponed due to the spread of Ebola.
The North African nation asked for a delay of the Africa Cup of Nations because of the risk of spreading Ebola, which has killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa, the South African Football Association said in an e-mailed statement today. CAF, as the governing body is known, asked South Africa and six other countries whether they could host the tournament due to start in January should Morocco pull out, it said.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been the hardest hit in the outbreak of Ebola that started in December. Cases of the disease may be substantially underreported in those three nations, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Sierra Leone and Guinea are among the countries seeking spots in the tournament.
“Morocco are the official hosts of Afcon 2015,” Safa President Danny Jordaan said in the statement. “Talk of us being Plan B is unfair.”
Earlier this month, Cameroon isolated the Sierra Leone team as it arrived in Yaounde for qualification matches. While Ghana said in August it wasn’t available to host games for Ebola-stricken nations, the country, which hasn’t had a case of the disease reported, has been asked to be on standby to host the finals, Accra-based Citi FM reported. Ghana hosted the event in 2008 and South Africa in 2013.
“We must all take care of this pandemic and put strict measures in place,” Jordaan said. “It is a deadly disease which must be fought collectively.”