The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will not take place in Morocco, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has finally announced.
At a meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCo) of the Caf held in Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, the request for postponement of the 30th edition of Africa’s biggest football showpiece by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Kingdom of Morocco in a letter dated 8 November, 2014, was taken into consideration.
The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) had earlier responded to a five-day ultimatum by Caf to confirm whether they will host the tournament slated for January 17 to February 8, pressing further its demand for postponementfor “health reasons of the highest dangerous force linked to serious risk of spreading the deadly Ebola pandemic.”
The Caf Statement read: “The Organising Committee of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations will later apply the statutory provisions that are required due to a breach of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation regulatory and contractual provisions, including those set out in the Host Association Agreement signed between CAF and the Royal Moroccan Football Federation in April 2014.”
Caf has also ruled out the Atlas Lions’ participation at the 2015 Afcon “following the refusal of the Moroccan party”- the original host- less than ten weeks to the tournament.
Caf ExCo acknowledged it is currently reviewing notification by some national associations concerning their readiness to host the tournament on the agreed dates.
“These applications are currently under review, and the Executive Committee will finalize the selection of the successful National Association shortly and confirm the place and date of the draw of the final tournament at the same time.”
Reports suggests three potential hosts- including 2006 host nation Egypt- are in the running to take over Morocco, as Caf Exco meets on Wednesday (tomorrow) to deliberate and decide.
The ExCo has confirmed continuation of qualifiers Match-days 5 & 6 (slated for 14/15 & 19 November) to decide 15 participating teams at the finals- with probable host completing the field.