Morocco banned from 2017, 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, handed hefty fine

Reuters , Friday 6 Feb 2015


Morocco have been banned from the next two African Nations Cup tournaments as punishment for withdrawing from hosting the 2015 finals over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus.

The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) has also been fined $1 million and ordered to pay 8.05 million euros ($9.12 million) in damages to the Confederation of African Football and their partners, CAF said in a statement.

CAF's executive committee rejected claims of force majeure from the FRMF and found the federation financially liable for the decision to withdraw from hosting the finals.

Morocco had asked for the tournament to be postponed by a year to allow the Ebola outbreak in west Africa to be contained.

The north African country was stripped of hosting rights by CAF in November as the tournament was switched to Equatorial Guinea.

CAF said at the time that Morocco's concerns were alarmist, notably the fear the competition would attract tens of thousands of visitors from west Africa where the World Health Organisation estimates almost 9,000 have died due to Ebola.

Moroccan Youth and Sports Minister Mohamed Ouzzine suggested at the time that players based in Europe would not take part in the tournament, rendering it a flop for all concerned, but that has not materialised.

CAF has also given the Tunisian Football Federation until March 31 to apologise for the behaviour of their players and TFF president Wadie Jary following the controversial quarter-final defeat by Equatorial Guinea or face exclusion from the 2017 edition.

Jary has been suspended from all CAF activities after he accused the organisation of bias against his country following a contentious penalty handed to Equatorial Guinea that allowed them to take the tie to extra-time.

CAF said Jary must apologise or submit a letter with "irrefutable, tangible evidence" to substantiate his claims.

Tunisia have already been fined $50,000 for what CAF termed "the aggressive attitude of some supporters in the stands, invasion of the pitch after the final whistle by players and substitutes ... insulting the referee and trying to physically assault him and the regrettable behaviour of the president of the Tunisian Football Federation."

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