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Ebola threatens Nations Cup

There are fears about a possible postponement of the 2015 African Cup of Nations, following the out break of the deadly Ebola virus in the West African region.

Reports from Morocco, hosts of the tournament indicates that world soccer governing body,. FIFA, confirmed that there might be a shift from the January 17 to February 8 date if the Ebola scare

Players of the ''FC Gberedou Abobo" football team poses with a sign reading ''Stop ebola in Africa" prior to a football tournament gathering youth from Guinea near the Koumassi sports center in Abidjan on August 10, 2014. West Africa was counting the cost of measures to contain the deadly Ebola epidemic on August 10, as unprecedented restrictions caused snarled transport, food shortages and soaring prices.  AFP PHOTO
Players of the ”FC Gberedou Abobo” football team poses with a sign reading ”Stop ebola in Africa” prior to a football tournament gathering youth from Guinea near the Koumassi sports center in Abidjan on August 10, 2014. West Africa was counting the cost of measures to contain the deadly Ebola epidemic on August 10, as unprecedented restrictions caused snarled transport, food shortages and soaring prices. AFP PHOTO

persists.

Nations cup qualifying tie involving Guinea and Sierra Leone have become a source of concern to other teams that have matches in those areas worst hit by Ebola. There are requests that such games should be played in Ebola-free countries.

Moroccan Daily Al Massaa newspaper quoted a source from FIFA saying that “FIFA follows with interest the Eblola-hit countries’ efforts to fight Ebola virus, ahead of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.”

“ But FIFA will not make any decision to change the official date until the African Football Confederation (CAF) approves it.”

The Ebola virus outbreak surfaced in Nigeria in July, when an infected Liberian government official brought the sickness and infected some Nigerians, thus sparking a world concern about a further spread of the disease. Only on Wednesday, Nigeria was forced to recall her team to the Youth Olympics in Nanjing China, after the athletes were subjected to unwarranted scrutiny. More than 1000 deaths have been recorded according to the World Health Organization.

The Ebola-affected countries of Guinea and Sierra Leone revealed they will not host any qualifying games because of fears about the deadly disease. Instead, they asked CAF to relocate next month’s African Nations Cup qualifiers to another territory. For these reasons, FIFA said that AFCON might be postponed.

However, Morocco’s Minister of Youth and Sports Mohamed Ouzzine denied the possibility for AFCON’s postponement. He told the Moroccan media that Morocco is able to face this challenge.


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