Ebola: African Cup in chaos, to be played without Morocco

Caf disqualifies Rabat national, guest country to be selected

12 November, 12:22

    The African Cup will be played but not in Morocco, and without Morocco The African Cup will be played but not in Morocco, and without Morocco

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - The African Cup will be played but not in Morocco, and without Morocco. Rabat's national team will be disqualified after its refusal to host the tournament over fears connected to the deadly Ebola virus which has already killed 5,000 worldwide, mainly in three West African countries - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    The strong-arm which started weeks ago from the Moroccan football federation pleading for the event to be moved or cancelled has so far only led the team being disqualified. It is still unclear where the cup will be played. Because the Federation of African countries in an emergency meeting yesterday in Cairo decided this first step without knowing where it will lead.

    ''After the Moroccan federation refused to organize the tournament, the executive committee decided that Morocco will be automatically disqualified and will not participate in the 30th edition of the 2015 Africa Cup'', an official statement said.

    Further sanctions could follow as, the statement added, ''the organizing committee can subsequently implement necessary sanctions after contractual clauses were not respected by the Moroccan federation''.

    The question is now where the tournament can be played given that Caf has ruled out suspending it.

    After a host of countries said no - including Egypt, South Africa first of all, as well as Sudan and Ghana - Caf appears to be willing to move forward and has already said ''there are candidatures currently being examined by the executive committee which will soon take a decision''.

    Meanwhile games to qualify for the cup, scheduled on November 14, 15 and 19 ''will take place regularly'' so as to elect the 15 teams which will make it to the final phase of the tournament, along with the national team of the new host country.

    The event could also go beyond soccer: the risk is that Morocco, after being disqualified and paying a hefty fine, could be disqualified for other competitions, with a potential judicial case between Caf and Morocco, which could go as far as the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. The World club championship is also in question. It is scheduled on December 10-20, also in Morocco, with the participation of Champions League winners Real Madrid and San Lorenzo, which won the Libertadores.

    Fifa should outline future action in the coming days.

    (ANSAmed).

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