South-Africa

SAFA coy on AFCON decision

2014-10-16 19:02
Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - No decision has been taken as to whether South Africa will host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, the South African Football Association (SAFA) said on Wednesday.

"On October 12th, SAFA received a written letter from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) asking whether South Africa would be able to host the tournament," Safa's head of communications Dominic Chimhavi said.

"Safa would like to make it clear. The bottom line is that no decision has been taken.

"A committee will meet tomorrow (Friday) to deliberate. No decision has been reached."

Morocco, who were due to host the January spectacle, have asked for the tournament to be postponed due to the Ebola epidemic in west Africa.

CAF have refused a postponement of any kind, citing commercial obligations and contractual agreements, paving the way for Morocco to pull out of hosting the biennial tournament.

CAF must now find a replacement.

According to Chimhavi, Morocco have denied that Ebola has hit the north African country, but has instead claimed that exposure to the virus, due to an influx of soccer supporters, could place the country at risk.

"Health experts say that Ebola could hit its peak during January and February. Morocco do not want to expose their populous to the virus.

"The higher volumes of people in the country will make it very difficult to control the virus."

Chimhavi added that a decision on whether or not to bring the tournament to South Africa for a second time in four years depended on a number of factors.

"The decision is likely to take time. It will not be an easy decision that can be made overnight. A number of key stakeholders will have to be involved in the decision-making.

"One such key stakeholder is the minister of health, who will need to advised on the feasibility of this project. Is it practical?"

South Africa hosted the last AFCON tournament in 2013. Nigeria won the title in Johannesburg in front of a packed FNB Stadium.

Read more on:    safa  |  afcon 2015  |  danny jordaan  |  johannesburg  |  soccer
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