Morocco have officially withdrawn from hosting the 2015 African Cup of Nations as fears over the Ebola virus continue to increase.
Morocco representative Mohamed Ouzzine released a statement saying, “This demand is motivated essentially by the last report from the World Health Organisation, which contained alarming numbers at the extent and spread of the virus.”
A source close to the ministry of sports said: “Since CAF rejected all our requests and suggestions (for postponement) then we are forced to withdraw from hosting Afcon 2015 with immediate effect to preserve the safety of our citizens and for that we are prepared to take any consequences that comes with our actions.”
Prior to withdrawing, the government in Morocco had written to CAF to defer the tournament that is bi-annual. However, CAF, in a counter statement replied: “It must be noted that since the first edition in 1957, the Africa Cup of Nations has never witnessed a deferral or a change in schedule.”
Although CAF confirmed it would discuss the matter at a meeting on Nov. 2, it seems Morocco have made a decision to part with the event just a few months before it starts.
South Africa hosted the last Afcon tournament in 2013 after the original hosts Libya asked to swap hosting duties with South Africa because of the civil war in the country at the time.
The 2010 World Cup hosts could again be in the running to host next year’s Afcon tournament although Ghana are also in the race to “hijack” the tournament as well as Sudan.
Egypt meanwhile had also indicated interest in hosting next year’s Nations Cup, stating its confidence in organising the competition under short notice.
Afcon 2015 is scheduled to take place between January 17th to February 8th 2015.
Source: Daily Guide
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