MOROCCO have withdrawn its rights to host the African Cup of Nations next year due to fears of the viral disease Ebola, which has ravaged a number of African nations over the last few months.
The Morocco government, through the federation, had given the Confederation of Afrian Football (CAF) three scenarios to either let them host the 2017 Afcon, CAF to postpone Afcon 2015 to 2016 or they pull out completely and take any consequence from CAF.
After the African football body failed to respond, the Morocco government on Thursday announced their decision to pull out to avoid the risk of Ebola spreading to their country.
A close source at the Ministry of Sports intimated “Since CAF rejected all our requests and suggestions then we are forced to withdraw from hosting Afcon 2015 with immediate effect to preserve the safety of our citizens and for that we are prepared to take any consequences that comes with our actions.”
The withdrawal of Morocco has tipped South Africa as the next hosts after Safa president Danny Jordan met with CAF president Issa Hayatou to discuss the matter while Sudan also requested CAF to consider Khartonm as an alternative host country.
South Africa was initially scheduled to host the tournament in 2017 following the withdrawal of Libya as hosts due to ongoing fighting there.
Egypt meanwhile had also showed interest to host next year’s Nations Cup, stating its confidence in organising the competition under short notice.
Afcon 2015 is scheduled to take place between January 17th to February 8th 2015.Morocco will be subject to severe sanctions including suspension of their national teams and clubs.