CAF confirm Morocco return

2015-04-05 16:13
AFCON trophy (AFP)

Johannesburg - Confederation of African Football (CAF) executives agreed on Sunday to allow Morocco to compete in the 2017 AFCON qualifying competition.

Morocco were barred from the 2017 and 2019 tournaments after refusing to host the 2015 finals last January and February because they feared visiting supporters could bring the deadly Ebola virus into the country.

Football officials from the north African kingdom appealed the decision at the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and won the case last Thursday.

CAS said the two-tournament ban should be lifted and a $1 million fine reduced to $50 000.

However, one day later a CAF spokesman refused to confirm whether Morocco would be included in the April 8 qualifying draw.

"There are many meetings to be held before the way forward is known," he told the BBC.

But a statement issued after CAF executives led by president Issa Hayatou met in Cairo cleared 1976 African champions Morocco to compete.

"CAF has committed to implementing the decision and will comply with this ruling despite the contradictions observed in the CAS decision," it read in part.

Equatorial Guinea replaced Morocco as 2015 hosts and Ivory Coast defeated Ghana on penalties after the final finished 0-0 to lift the trophy.

The 2017 qualifiers are likely to comprise 13 four-nation groups with the first matches scheduled for June.

Algeria, Gabon and Ghana have bid to host the 2017 Cup of Nations and the successful candidate will be announced Wednesday before the draw.

Read more on:    caf  |  afcon 2017  |  soccer

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