11 November 2014 14:45
The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations will no longer take place in Morocco, it has been confirmed by CAF.
The country had requested the postponement of the competition due to the Ebola outbreak in west Africa and failed to confirm its intention to host the tournament last weekend.
In addition to being stripped of hosting duties, the Morocco national team have been disqualified from the competition, which is due to get under way on January 17.
Morocco were initially awarded the competition in January 2011, beating off competition from DR Congo and South Africa.
However, recent concerns over the virus led to Morocco calling for the tournament to be postponed due to “health reasons dictated by the highest dangerousness”.
The Moroccan Ministry of Sport suggested it should instead be played in 2016 and 2017, but the stand-off with CAF continued until an Executive Committee meeting in Cairo on Tuesday.
The committee took note of a letter from the Minister of Youth and Sports of the Kingdom of Morocco calling for the postponement and, with CAF previously sticking to its stance that the dates would remain unmoved, it was decided that Morocco would not host the competition.
Furthermore, CAF also stated that Morocco would not be allowed to feature in the tournament.
“Having firmly and unanimously notified on 3 November its decision to keep the competition on the dates indicated, the Executive Committee confirmed that the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2015 will not take place in Morocco,” read a statement from CAF.
“The Executive Committee confirms the continuation of qualifiers match-days 5 and 6, which will be held during the month (14/15 November and 19 November), paving the way for the qualification of the 15 teams that will be joining the team of the host country.
“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 also confirmed applications from nations eager to step in and host the tournament are being considered and that the final selection will be made shortly.
“The Executive Committee will finalise 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,” CAF added.