Africa Cup of Nations crisis after hosts Morocco axed in Ebola row

Frank Dalleres
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AFRICAN football chiefs are today expected to announce a new venue for the Africa Cup of Nations after Morocco were stripped of hosting rights and disqualified from the tournament.

Morocco were barred after asking to postpone the competition, which is due to begin in January, over fears that an influx of fans from across the continent could cause an outbreak of Ebola in the country.

The north Africans asked for the event to be put back until 2016, but the Confederation of African Football (CAF) yesterday agreed to stick with the original dates, move the tournament and exile Morocco.

CAF is now expected to choose from three willing potential replacement hosts, with Algeria, Angola and Nigeria all tipped as possible short-notice stand-ins. Egypt has ruled itself out.

Around 5,000 people are believed to have died from Ebola, mainly in west Africa.

Morocco is still expected to stage the Club World Cup, which features the different continental champions, including Real Madrid and teams from north Africa.

“Having firmly and unanimously notified its decision to keep the competition on the dates indicated, the executive committee confirmed that the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 will not take place in Morocco,” CAF said in a statement.

“Accordingly, and following the refusal of the Moroccan party, the executive committee has decided that the national team of Morocco is automatically disqualified and will not take part in the 30th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015.”