New hosts for the 2015 African Nations Cup will be named within three days after Morocco was ruled out amid fears of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said.
CAF President Issa Hayatou said the regional governing body would talk to countries who were interested in taking over the January 17 to February 8 event and expected a quick resolution amid suggestions Qatar had been sounded out about hosting the event.
For 57 years, we have patiently built this house, which today is the pride of all Africans
Speaking to France 24, Hayatou also reiterated CAF's stance that by giving in to Morocco's request to have the date of the tournament moved it would set an unwanted precedent.
"Once you postpone this event, it will open the door for everybody to ask for a delay of any competition and we will no longer be credible," Hayatou said.
"We will hurt our sponsors and partners. Everyone will say we are not ready and finally it is CAF that will pay the price. That is what I told the Moroccans.
"We cannot sign our death warrant because if we postpone this event it will be very deadly for African football. For 57 years, we have patiently built this house, which today is the pride of all Africans.
"They have this festival every two years and we are not about to leave the opportunity to anyone to destroy the work we have patiently developed over the years."
Angola, Egypt, Gabon and Nigeria were the countries being touted as possible replacement hosts by African media.
French sports daily L'Equipe suggested on Wednesday that 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar could also be set to help.