RABAT: A decision on the staging of the 2015 African Nations Cup has been postponed again because of a stand-off between the continental confederation and the scheduled Moroccan hosts writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The Moroccan government has insisted it cannot mount sufficient health checks against the risk of the virulent ebola virus being imported among thousands of visiting fans.
Morocco’s alternative proposal of a postponement until June was rejected at a meeting in Rabat today with a CAF delegation led by its president Issa Hayatou who is also the senior vice-president of world federation FIFA.
Hayatou told the Moroccans that a postponement was out of the question and he has given them until Saturday to reconsider their stance. The remaining options for CAF, he has warned, are to find a new host – tricky in all the cicumstances – or cancel the finals altogether.
CAF’s executive committee will meet in emergency session at its headquarters in Cairo on Tuesday of next week to decide how to proceed.
Media director Junior Binyam, justifying the hard line, said: “Any change in date would be detrimental to the timing of Nations Cup which is bound to take place as scheduled in the FIFA international calendar.”
He considered the health system set up by Morocco to prevent the spread of Ebola as being “more than capable of coping with limited flow” of fans during the finals.
A significant concern for CAF is that, if it postponed until June, European clubs would refuse to countenance a return to the traditional January/February which irritates them so much because of the loss of their African players.
The draw for the finals remains scheduled for November 26 in Rabat.
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