…Says no ban on affected countries
Nigeria has been given the all clear to host AFCON qualifying matches which begin next month after the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) instructed Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia to find neutral grounds for their matches.
Africa’s football governing body, in a statement, added that there is no ban on travel to and from the Ebola virus-affected countries, hence all planned qualification matches would go ahead.
The body said it affirmed the position following advice from the World Health Organisation; which provided guidance on attitudes the continental soccer governing body would observe in the management of CAF competitions scheduled to take place in countries affected by the epidemic, namely Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
In the circular, the Secretary General of CAF, Hicham El Amrani, called on member associations to relay accurate information about the mode of transmission of Ebola, its symptoms, and precautions persons needed to take against the disease. CAF also advised member associations to undertake Ebola screening protocols at departure and arrival points and directed Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to organize their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches on neutral territory based on recommendations by the WHO.
There have been huge concerns raised by some countries that are set to face the affected countries in the AFCON qualifying phase. This has led to Rwanda being replaced with Congo after it showed signs of abandoning its match with the Super Eagles.
Just last week, Lesotho, who was supposed to tackle Nigeria’s flying Eagles in an AYC qualification match in Kaduna, failed to turn up for the match.