The Royal Moroccan Football Federation confirmed that Morocco will no longer host the 2015 African Cup of Nations at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), in Cairo, Tuesday.
Morocco had proposed postponing the competition, amid fears of a potential Ebola outbreak in the country. This was despite repeated calls from international bodies, such as the U.N. and the World Health Organization, as well as regional leaders, to not limit the movement of people due to Ebola.READ MORE: teleSUR’s series of in-depth articles, The Other Side of Ebola examines prejudices and stigmatization of the virus.
“Morocco maintains its request to postpone the CAN 2015 to 2016,” said a Morocco’s Sports Ministry statement. “The decision is dictated by health reasons because of the serious threat of Ebola and the risk of its spreading."
However, the CAF executive committee decided to keep the appointed dates for the tournament.
“This response clearly indicates that the Royal Moroccan Football Federation reiterated its refusal to hold the competition on the dates indicated (January 17-February 8, 2015),” says the official CAF statement.
As a part of the sanction imposed on the country, the committee decided to disqualify Morocco's national team from the competition
“Accordingly, and following the refusal of the Moroccan party, the Executive Committee has decided that the national team of Morocco is automatically disqualified and will not take part in the 30th edition of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations in 2015,” CAF's statement reads.
As well as being ousted by the CAF, Morocco is also the only African continental nation not in the African Union due to a dispute over Western Saharan sovereignty.