The African Union (AU) Commission chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has patted the Government of Equatorial Guinea on the back for accepting to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Caf has had a torrid time looking for a substitute ever since scheduled host Morocco pulled out of the continental showpiece for fear of contracting the deadly Ebola virus. The continent�s football governing body reached an agreement with the oil-rich country to host the tournament which takes place from January 17 to February 8, 2015.
Dr Zuma said Equatorial Guinea�s gesture is a strong show of African Solidarity.
�The Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone should not paralyse continental programs and events. Like many other challenges the continent has faced in the past, the Ebola outbreak is being surmounted and is by no means a reason to stall the African Cup of Nations,� Dr. Zuma said after receiving the announcement of Equatorial Guinea to host the competition.
The AU and CAF share common Pan African values and are deeply aware that the common wellbeing and prosperity of the continent is paramount. Meeting with the AUC Chairperson in September in Addis Ababa, CAF Executive Committee, led by its President Hayatou expressed its strong support to contribute to fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.
However, Africa cannot afford to be swayed by each and every challenge the continent faces and is at a point where it faces new and old challenges, like the Ebola crisis, the threat of terrorism and conflicts.
�Football is a unique unifying force of our continent and the world. We look forward to once again, coming together and celebrating Africa together in the exhilarating 2015 AFCON tournament in Equatorial Guinea,� Dr. Zuma said.
The AU reiterates its commitment to support CAF and the host in its preparations for the tournament, and calls upon Member States and the international community to avail Equatorial Guinea and all the participating nations all the necessary and adequate support and screening facilities.
�We should remember that we have fought and defeated many tragedies including HIV/AIDS whose spread has been significantly halted. We will defeat Ebola,� Dr Zuma said.
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