Morocco disqualified from Africa Cup of Nations

Morocco disqualified from Africa Cup of Nations
Morocco disqualified from Africa Cup of Nations
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The News Minute| November 12, 2014| 2.51 pm IST

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) disqualified Moroccan football team from taking part in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) and dumped Morocco as the host country after it refused to commit to the date of tournament.

The CAF was also considering further sanctions on the North African country after it refused to commit to the scheduled date of tournament because of fears over Ebola disease.

"The Organising Committee of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations will later apply the statutory provisions that are required due to a breach of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) regulatory and contractual provisions, including those set out in the host association Agreement signed between CAF and the FRMF April 2014," CAF was quoted as saying Tuesday by Xinhua.

Morocco spent over $70 million on the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations but failed to shut its eyes to the danger that Ebola could cause, said a senior Morocco ministry official who refused to be named.

"You have to take this danger seriously and the CAF must too," he added.

Morocco asked the African football body Oct 10 to postpone the CAN 2015 at least until next June. It also reiterated that demand last Saturday, when the five days' ultimatum from the CAF ended. CAF asked Morocco to say by Saturday whether it would still host the tournament from Jan 17-Feb 8.

In reply to the ultimatum, the Moroccan youth ministry said, "This decision was dictated by serious health risks linked to the epidemic of Ebola that killed more than 5000". It called for a postponement of the tournament from 2015 to 2016.

Morocco said it will not change its position because of health authority's advice and concerns about the health of nationals and visitors, which took precedence over sports.

Morocco is also scheduled to host FIFA Club World Cup next month but the country said there is no danger of Ebola as the two African teams playing in the tournament are from Morocco and Algeria and they don't expect supporters to travel from the Ebola-affected regions.

A FIFA statement Oct 28 said: "According to the World Health Organization there are currently no cases of Ebola reported from Morocco and, therefore, all preparations continue as planned".

"FIFA is monitoring the situation and is in close contact with the Moroccan authorities and constantly updating its position in accordance with WHO technical guidance. Should the situation change we will be in touch with the participating clubs accordingly," the statement said.

Source: IANS

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