Ebola outbreak: No changes to 2015 Nations Cup, says Caf

Ebola hygienist
More than 4,000 people have died in the Ebola epidemic

The organiser of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations says there are no changes to the dates or schedule despite a request from hosts Morocco to postpone.

Morocco's government has written to the Confederation of African Football to delay the 17 January to 8 February event because of the Ebola outbreak.

Caf said it will discuss the request at the next meeting of its executive committee on 2 November.

And its president Issa Hayatou will meet Moroccan officials the next day.

More than 4,000 people have died in the Ebola epidemic that broke out in west Africa at the start of the year.

The Morocco health ministry made its plea on Friday in the wake of its decision "to avoid events which involve those countries affected by the Ebola virus".

On Saturday, Caf responded in a statement that read: "Caf has registered the request and wishes to state that there are no changes of the schedules of its competitions and events.

A Sierra Leone football fan with an anti-Ebola placard
A Sierra Leone football fan with an anti-Ebola placard

"It must be noted that since the first edition in 1957, the Africa Cup of Nations has never witnessed a deferral or a change in schedule.

"Caf has also been cautious since the commencement of the final round qualifiers of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations on the health risks posed by the Ebola virus and has consistently applied precautionary principles, taking into account the recommendations of the World Health Organization and various medical experts."

In July, Seychelles cancelled and forfeited their Nations Cup qualifier home match against Sierra Leone because of fears over the Ebola virus.

And Caf has placed an indefinite ban on Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea - the countries worst affected by the Ebola outbreak - from hosting matches in their own countries.

Sierra Leone and Guinea, the two nations involved in Nations Cup qualifying, have since played their 'home' matches in DR Congo and Morocco respectively.

For the upcoming double-headers, played this weekend and next Wednesday, Sierra Leone will play Cameroon twice in Yaounde while Guinea will host Ghana in Casablanca before travelling to Tamale for the away fixture.

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