CAF maintains CAN 2015 dates as originally scheduled

Karim Farouk, Monday 3 Nov 2014

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has turned down Morocco's request of delaying the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) due to Ebola fears

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The CAF's executive committee has unanimously decided to keep the CAN 2015 dates as originally scheduled from 17 January to 8 February 2015, rejecting Morocco's request to delay the competition over the Ebola epidemic currently in several African countries.

The African governing body issued a statement after their emergency meeting in Algiers on Monday saying that "since the beginning of the latest outbreak of the Ebola virus, CAF has always acted in accordance with the precautionary principle of safeguarding lives by strictly adhering to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO)."

The CAF said it has made strict requirements for all associations to comply with the health protocols prescribed by the WHO and has taken all precautionary measures to safeguard participants in the tournament.

The CAF also didn't find any ground for Morocco's fears.

"Of the three countries where the epidemic is prevalent, only Guinea retains a chance of qualifying for the final tournament of the Orange AFCON 2015. In addition, Guinea hosts its home games in Casablanca and has adhered to a strict health protocol implemented by Morocco that has so far shown no flaws," the statement said.

The statement added that "Morocco, a country where no cases of Ebola have been identified, welcomes in the coming weeks and a few days before the Orange AFCON 2015, the FIFA Club World Cup, where there will be participants from a country where a case of the Ebola virus has been identified (Spain)."

The CAF also praised the current health system in Morocco and expressed its confidence in coping with the "limited flow" of people for the African Nations Cup.

It vowed to respect its commitments and asked the Moroccan Football Federation to clarify its final position by 8 November.

It further opened the door for all other countries to apply to host the tournament by this date. A new meeting will be held at the CAF headquarters in Cairo on 11 November to make a final decision.

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