Wednesday, August 13, 2014

EBOLA Virus: CAF orders relocation of matches from Sierra Leone and Guinea


The confederation of African Football (CAF) has ordered Sierra Leone and Guinea to relocate their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers following the outbreak of Ebola Virus in their countries.

In the letter written by CAF's officials ot other member-associations to inform them of its decision to ask the two countries to relocate their games for the AFCON qualifiers they said:
It is a preventive measure to avoid mass gathering that could facilitate the spread of the virus.”
CAF also said the measure would remain in place until mid-September. What does this mean? At least the first two round of the matches, scheduled for between September 5th, 6th and 10th will be relocated.

According to the World Health Organization, at least 1,848 cased of Ebola has been reported and about 1,013 deaths, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.

Following CAF's directive, Guinea will need a new venue for their Group E tie against visiting Togo on 5-6 September.
Sierra Leone had already said it would not host any football matches until further notice and they have asked Ghana if they are able to host their Group D matches.

The Leone Stars are currently scheduled to host DR Congo on 10 September.

In a bid to combat this deadly virus, CAF moved to allay fears on the countries' away fixtures, saying that "each federation whose country is affected by the virus must ensure their delegations travelling abroad can be examined before departure".
It added that "each national association receiving delegations must communicate the necessary information delivered by health authorities to ensure the reception of teams... and if necessary to provide additional checks at arrival points".
Sierra Leone are due to play Ivory Coast, DR Congo and Cameroon in the last round of qualifying, which runs from early September to mid-November.