Morocco Will Not Host 2015 Africa Cup of Nations
By iSportconnect | November 10, 2014
The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has been plunged into serious doubt after Morocco announced they would not host the tournament in January amid fears over the Ebola virus.
The country wanted the tournament postponed until June at the earliest, but after a meeting last week, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided it will go ahead with the scheduled dates of January 17 until February 8.
CAF issued an ultimatum to Morocco to decide whether it would still host the event by November 8, which the country has now rejected.
A statement from Morocco’s Sports Ministry said: “The decision is dictated by health reasons because of the serious threat of Ebola and the risk of its spreading.”
CAF will hold an Executive Committee meeting in Cairo on Tuesday where Morocco is expected to officially be stripped as the host nation.
The statement from the Moroccan Government also stated the decision was “also motivated by humanitarian reasons since it is our responsibility to welcome all our guests and supporters in the best conditions in accordance with the culture and hospitality Moroccan traditions”.
Morocco has fears that supporters from West Africa, the most affected area for Ebola, would travel to the host nation and put their important tourist industry at risk.
CAF secretary general Hicham El Amrani said Morocco’s request to postpone the tournament was rejected following consultation with the World Health Organisation.
“We will never take any risk if we are unsure about whether a competition poses a threat to the hosts,” he said.
CAF will now either move the event to another country or cancel it at great financial cost.
As yet, no country has come forward as replacement hosts.