Football

Morocco calls for Africa Cup of Nations postponement due to Ebola

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The Moroccan government, who have taken up the strenuous task of hosting the Africa Cup of Nations earlier next year, have called for the tournament to be postponed amid fresh fears of an Ebola outbreak. 

The deadly epidemic has killed more than 4000 people since it broke out in West Africa at the start of this year and the Moroccan government wants to take no chances. 

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Africa Cup of Nations

The Africa Cup of Nations, which is a biennial tournament is set to take place early next year in 2015 between January 17 and February 8. The Moroccan government has quite effectively lodged an appeal with the CAF - the Confederation of African Football - which is based in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, in an effort to delay the competition. 

According to the BBC, The Morocco health ministry made the plea in the wake of their decision: "tTo avoid events which involve those countries affected by the Ebola virus."

Stars of the tournament

A plethora of Premier League superstars are expected to feature in the tournament including the likes of Yaya Toure of Côte d'Ivoire and Manchester City, Nigeria and Chelsea midfielder Victor Moses and Newcastle United and Senegal striker Papiss Cisse. 

The Moroccan government has already announced extra screening and containment measures at all the entry points to the country, in particular the Casablanca airport, a key transportation hub for North and West Africa. 

“As a precautionary measure, the health ministry has stepped up sanitary checks at entry points … especially at Casablanca airport," the national MAP news agency reported.

Ebola threat

The Ebola epidemic has taken more lives in west African countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Guinean government have recorded 122 suspected cases and 78 deaths. 

The World Health Organisation has recommended that people cancel all travel or trade plans to Guinea, to Liberia or to Sierra Leone. 

The three countries were involved in the build up to the Africa Cup of Nations with Guinea and Liberia still playing in the group qualifiers and Sierra Leone knocked out in the preliminary knockout phase. 

 

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