Morocco thrown out of African Cup

African football’s governing body penalises Morocco after country refused to host event due to fears over Ebola.

Caf and Morocco officials had a meeting last week to discuss the event [AFP]

Morocco was thrown out of the 2015 African Cup of Nations and stripped of its hosting rights Tuesday after refusing to commit to the scheduled dates early next year because of fears over Ebola.

The Confederation of African Football said the tournament would now be hosted by another country. It didn’t announce which one, but said it had received “some applications” to replace Morocco.

CAF said in a statement that the applications from possible replacement hosts were now “under review”.

CAF repeatedly refused Morocco’s request to postpone the African Cup until 2016 because of fears over the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed about 5,000 people in West Africa. The African football body insisted the continent’s showpiece tournament must go ahead on the planned dates of January 17-February 8.

“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.

The body’s decision-making executive committee also decided “that the national team of Morocco is automatically disqualified” because of its “refusal” to host.

CAF will decide on further punishments for Morocco for breaching its contractual obligations as host, the statement said.

CAF has not named any countries it is considering as a replacement for Morocco.