Date
17 December 2017
South Africa and Congo players vie for the ball during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying football match in Polokwane, South Africa last month. Photo: AFP
South Africa and Congo players vie for the ball during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying football match in Polokwane, South Africa last month. Photo: AFP

Morocco expelled from Africa Cup

Morocco has been disqualified from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and dumped as host of the event after refusing to commit to the scheduled dates early next year because of fears over Ebola, the Associated Press reported.

The Confederation of African Football didn’t announce the new host of the tournament, which will kick off in January, but said it has received several applications.

“These applications are currently under review, and the executive committee will finalize the selection of the successful national association shortly,” the African football body said in a statement after an emergency meeting at its Cairo headquarters.

So far no country has publicly said it wants to host the tournament in Morocco’s place, the report said.

Morocco had asked that the tournament, originally scheduled for Jan. 17-Feb. 8, be postponed until 2016 because of fears that Ebola could be brought by supporters and other travelers. 

The disease has killed about 5,000 people in West Africa.

“The Royal Moroccan Football Federation reiterated its refusal to hold the competition on the dates indicated,” CAF said Tuesday. “Therefore having firmly and unanimously notified … its decision to keep the competition on the dates indicated, the executive committee confirmed that the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 will not take place in Morocco.”

CAF’s executive committee also decided “that the national team of Morocco is automatically disqualified” because of its “refusal” to host. CAF will decide on further punishments for Morocco for breaching its contract as host, it said.

Morocco is also scheduled to host FIFA’s Club World Cup next month, featuring Champions League winner Real Madrid, the report said. It doesn’t expect many visitors from Ebola-affected regions.

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CG

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