Morocco may withdraw hosting CAN 2015 over Ebola fears

Karim Farouk, Tuesday 14 Oct 2014

Report from Moroccan website suggests three alternatives to rescheduling the CAN, planned for this January


Morocco may be forced to withdraw from hosting the 2015 African Cup of Nations over Ebola fears and the threat it might pose to local residents.

A report published on Moroccan website Elbotola quoted anonymous sources in the Moroccan ministry of sports and the Moroccan Football Association, citing three propositions to get out of the current crisis.

The first is delaying the CAN until the summer instead of January, when hopefully the epidemic will be terminated or at least contained.

The second option is to hold the tournament in January 2016, a year after its initially scheduled date.

A final and unlikely suggestion is cancelling the 30th edition of the tournament and making Morocco hosts of the 2017 edition, which is still open for a host after Libya withdrew over security fears.

If the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rejects all the above suggestions and maintains the current dates, then Morocco "will be forced" to withdraw from hosting the competition – according to the sources – to preserve the safety and health of its citizens.

The CAN 2015 is scheduled to take place from 17 January to 8 February. In a statement to Morocco's request to defer the schedule, the CAF stated that "there are no changes of the schedules of its competitions and events."

However, the request will be discussed at the next meeting of the CAF Executive Committee scheduled for 2 November in Algiers on the sidelines of the second leg of the CAF Champions League final.

Morocco may be subject to severe sanctions if it withdraws from hosting the tournament, including the suspension of all its national teams and clubs from participating in continental competitions.

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