The Confederation of African Football (CAF) says the January date for next year’s Cup of Nations still stands despite Morocco’s refusal to host the event during the specified time due to fears over the Ebola virus.
At its meeting in Cairo today, the Executive Committee of CAF conceded the North African country has reiterated its unwillingness to host the championship and new host will be announced soonest in order to keep the programmes on track.
In addition, Morocco has now been suspended from participating in next year’s continental showpiece as a result of their actions.
“Having firmly and unanimously notified on 3 November its decision to keep the competition on the dates indicated, the Executive Committee confirmed that the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2015 will not take place in Morocco and also confirms the continuation of qualifiers match-days 5 & 6, which will be held during the month (14/15 November and 19 November), paving the way for the qualification of the 15 teams that will be joining the team of the host country.
“Accordingly, and following the refusal of the Moroccan party, the Executive Committee has decided that the national team of Morocco is automatically disqualified and will not take part in the 30th edition of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations in 2015.” CAF’s statement read.
The governing body has always maintained that the World Health Organisation has given them the all clear regarding the competition while Moroccan officials remain fearful that the virus would be transported to their country during the Cup.
This quagmire is a first in the history of the competition that has been the biggest sporting extravaganza on the continent since its inception in 1957.