Afcon 2015: Ebola risk 'under control' despite clashes

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Ebola screening at Cup of Nations

The Ebola risk at the Africa Cup of Nations is "under control", says Equatorial Guinea Football Federation president Andres Jorge Mbombio.

Police and fans clashed during Zambia's 1-1 draw with DR Congo after Ebola screening delayed entry to the ground in Ebebiyin.

There were also clashes during Ivory Coast's draw with Guinea and Mali's tie against Cameroon on Tuesday in Malabo.

Despite the wait to enter stadiums, Mbombio claims the threat is contained.

"When we decided to host the tournament, we increased the preventive measures, so that now we can say everything is under control," he said.

"We feel proud and reassured, and only want to think of football."

There was a heavy police presence before Zambia v DR Congo
There was a heavy police presence before Zambia v DR Congo

A World Health Organisation (WHO) worker who was conducting Ebola screening at Tuesday's Group D games told the BBC that there were isolated incidents of fighting between police and fans, with one involving up to 300 people.

The WHO worker says she feared for her safety and had to come inside the gates to carry out the checks for Ebola. The police used electroshock weapons, batons and cattle prods to stop the fighting, after fans surged towards the gates, reports the BBC's Alex South in Malabo.

Equatorial Guinea are hosting the tournament after Morocco's request to postpone the event because of the possible spread of the disease was rejected by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) in November.

Supporters have their temperatures checked and are then asked to clean their hands with sanitising gel as they enter stadiums, which is resulting in long queues.

BBC Sport's Alex South in Equatorial Guinea on day four
"Same problem different day. Fans waiting up to an hour in 40 degree heat as the Ebola screening process again holds things up. "Supporters getting a bit hot and bothered and I've seen one or two arguments already break out, but again the police are quick to try and defuse the situation. "It's not helping that you have four different sets of travelling fans all descending on the same place at the same time. The tension is building and it has little to do with the football."

Mbombio says he does not want the issue of Ebola to overshadow the tournament and take the focus away from events on the pitch.

"Everybody said that Ebola was a big risk for this tournament. It was true. It was a risk, but we managed to control it," he added.

"We've got the chance to live and enjoy the football. We must forget the difficulties related to Ebola."

Fan delayed as they attempt to enter Zambia v DR Congo
Fan delayed as they attempt to enter Zambia v DR Congo
Ivory Coast v Equatorial Guinea
Fans were delayed ahead of the hosts opening Group D game against Ivory Coast in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea. BBC's Alex South took this picture 15 minutes before kick-off
Equatorial Guinea stepped in to host the Africa Cup of Nations after Morocco's request to postpone the tournament because of Ebola was rejected
Equatorial Guinea stepped in to host the Africa Cup of Nations after Morocco's request to postpone the tournament because of Ebola was rejected

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