Hosts Morocco called Friday for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals to be postponed over the Ebola crisis. The biennial competition is scheduled to be held in the North African country from January 17 to February 8.
The health ministry made the plea to postpone for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations due to the deadly Ebola epidemic that has already killed over 4000 people.
In the wake of their decision “to avoid events which involve those countries affected by the Ebola virus,” the MAP news agency quoted a government statement as saying.
More than 4,000 people have died in the Ebola epidemic that broke out in West Africa at the start of the year, according to the latest figures released by the World Health Organization.
Ebola has already made an impact on qualifying for Morocco 2015.
Guinea and Sierra Leone are involved in ongoing group qualifiers and despite the Moroccan government’s demands, the qualifying competition continued on Saturday with Sierra Leone hosting Cameroon in Yaoundé.
The demand to delay the event has been lodged with the Africa Cup of Nations’ organisers, the Confederation of African Football.
CAF has moved qualifying matches from those concerned countries to neutral venues as many African governments have sought a shield against worst-hit states Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Athletes from Ebola-hit countries were barred from competing in some sports in the Youth Olympics in China in August.