Morocco given Afcon deadline


The Confederation of African Football said it was sticking to its plans to host the 16-team tournament from January 17 to February 8 next year despite Morocco seeking a postponement because of fears over the Ebola virus.

Morocco wanted the tournament moved to June or even January 2016, their football association said on Monday before a meeting between CAF president Issa Hayatou and the Moroccan government in Rabat on Monday.

But CAF have stuck to its position having previously told Morocco they would not budge on a change of dates.

They have now thrown down a gauntlet giving Morocco until Saturday to make clear its position. Morocco are concerned hosting the tournament would risk the spread of the deadly fever which has claimed almost 5,000 lives in west Africa.

“The meeting of the CAF executive committe in Algiers on Sunday considered the request from the Minstry of Youth and Sports in Morocco for a postponement and was unanimous on keeping the competition on the dates scheduled,” said CAF in a stamemnt released on Monday.

“CAF have asked the Royal Moroccan Football Federation to clarify the final position of Morocco by no later than November 8.

“Time given to Morocco applies to other associations wishing to organise the Nations Cup on the dates agreed as long as hosting requirements are met,” said CAF, suggesting it might have organised an alternative.

It has already asked seven countries if they would be willing to take over as emergency hosts with little time to prepare for the high profile three-week event but met with a lukewarm response from Egypt and Ghana and a no from South Africa and Tunisia.

CAF’s statement added the next executive committee of African football’s governing body on Nov. 11 in Cairo would “take the necessary decisions on the 2015 Nations Cup”.