Football Sport

Morocco won’t host AfCON

ZAMBIA defender Nyambe Mulenga (left) tackles Niger striker Moussa Maazou during the 2015 Morocco Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Stade Seyni Kountche in Niamey on Saturday night. The match ended goalless. PICTURE: MANFRED MUBITA.

JOHANNESBURG – Morocco have withdrawn their rights to host the African Cup of Nations next year due to fears of the viral disease Ebola, which has ravaged a number of African nations over the last few months.
Morocco government, through the federation, had given CAF three scenarios to either let them host the 2017 AfCON, CAF to postpone AfCON 2015 to 2016 or they pull out completely and take any consequence from CAF.
But after the African football body failed to respond, the government of Morocco yesterday announced their decision to pull out to avoid the risk of Ebola spread to their nation.
A source at the Ministry of Sports who sought anonymity intimated: “Since CAF rejected all our requests and suggestions, 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 come with our actions.”
The withdrawal of Morocco has tipped South Africa as the next hosts after SAFA president Danny Jordaan met with CAF President Issa Hayatou to discuss the matter while also Sudan put up their request to CAF to be considered as an alternative host country.
South Africa were initially scheduled to host the tournament in 2017 following the withdrawal of Libya as hosts due to ongoing fighting there.
Egypt, meanwhile, had also indicated interest in hosting next year’s Nations Cup, stating their confidence in organising the competition under short notice.
Afcon 2015 is scheduled to take place between January 17 to February 8, 2015. Morocco will be subject to severe sanctions, including suspension of their national teams and clubs. – SUPERSPORT.

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