Football

Ivory Coast will not host African Nations Cup qualifier over Ebola fears

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The football federation of the Ivory Coast declared on Thursday that they will not go ahead with a planned African Nations Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone over fears of the Ebola virus.

The country will not be allowed to host the qualifier after Reuters reported that the Ivory Coast government had discontinued the proposed fixture due to all travel between the two countries being banned.

Media officer Eric Kacou told reporters that: "The authorities are taking no chances against a possible Ebola outbreak,"

Death toll continues to rise

The virus has affected other fixtures during qualifiers, Congo have also demanded that their fixture with Nigeria next weekend be moved to a neutral venue.

The country of Nigeria have also suffered deaths at the hands of the deadly virus and the Congo federation are unwilling to visit a country that is reporting citizen passing from the Ebola virus.

The number of deaths due to Ebola have been reported as many as 1,427, both Nigeria and Sierra Leone are countries who have been seriously hit by the outbreak.

Finding new venues

The confederation of African Football have stepped in with the worry over the virus and have ordered Sierra Leone and Guinea to play their future home qualifiers at neutral venues, however the Ivory Coast is the first country to tell its national team that they cannot host any football matches at the present time.

Both the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone are now scrambling to find a suitable venue to host the qualifiers, the pair are set to meet on September 6 in the Group D match.

After Guinea were ordered by the confederation of African Football to move their home qualifier, they will stage their Group E opener against Togo in Casablanca, Morocco on Sept 6.

The competitions National Qualifiers begin on September 5-6, it is currently the group phase of preliminaries before the official finals in Morocco next year.

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