Ebola vs 2015 Africa Cup of Nations

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has maintained that the 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will be staged January 17 to February 8.

Uganda Cranes are battling in 2015 Afcon qualifiers
Uganda Cranes are battling in 2015 Afcon qualifiers

Hosts Morocco had requested CAF to postpone the tournament because of fear of the deadly Ebola virus. During a meeting on Sunday in Algeria,  the Executive Committee decided that the competition remains on the dates originally agreed.

CAF went ahead to ask the Royal Moroccan Football Federation to clarify the final position of Morocco not later than 8 November, 2014 before a final meeting in Cairo, Egypt two days later.

The spread of the Ebola virus especially in countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea forced CAF to suspend matches in those countries. However CAF reasoned that since the beginning of the latest outbreak of the Ebola virus, they have always acted in accordance with the precautionary principle of safeguarding lives by strictly adhering to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

They also reasoned that CAF has then been able to organize peacefully all competitions across the continent since April 2014 with no cases of Ebola reported in connection with the organization of a football match.

In a communication they also pointed out that WHO reiterated CAF recommendations in a letter dated 14 October 2014 and re-confirmed in a press release issued on 23 October, 2014 that it did not recommend the cancellation of international meetings and mass gatherings in countries other than those affected.

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 showed no flaws.

Experienced sports Doctor James Sekajugo who is also a member of CAF and the world Football body, FIFA says in a separate interview that they have what it takes to handle the situation in Morocco. Sekajugo said Morocco is not one of the countries reported with cases of Ebola and precautionary measures can easily be put in place.

Meanwhile Uganda Cranes against Ghana after the second one against Sudan was called off. The Cranes will now face only Ethiopia on Sunday at Namboole, one of the two build-up games Fifa had earlier lined up.

The other one was against Sudan two days later, still at Namboole, but it has been called off after Fifa informed Uganda at the weekend they cannot have more than two matches during the world body’s designated international break.

Uganda-Ethiopia on Sunday still stands since it happens outside the international break period. Uganda-Sudan on Tuesday would have been inside the Fifa international break yet games against Ghana on November 15 and Guinea on 19 already eat up the two-game quota.

Fufa publicist Amed Hussein confirmed to supersport.com that the match against Sudan had been called off.

“We received communication from Fifa and they explained to us why we cannot have the friendly against Sudan,” he said, adding, “But the game against Ethiopia on Sunday will go ahead.”

Uganda must beat Ghana at Namboole to maintain their slim chances of qualifying among the top two in Group E for next year’s Nations Cup finals in Morocco.

Ghana top standings with eight points, followed by Togo on six. Uganda and Guinea have four apiece with two games left to play.

Additional reporting from agencies

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