Tuesday 11 November 2014 18:34, UK
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has disqualified Morocco from competing in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Morocco had been due to host the 2015 tournament but raised fears over the spread of the Ebola virus and asked for the event to be postponed.
CAF has always insisted the cup should still take place from January 17-February 8 and has now disqualified Morocco from taking part.
Having firmly and unanimously notified 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
“At its meeting on 11 November 2014 in Cairo, the Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has taken note of the response of the Minister of Youth and Sports of the Kingdom of Morocco in a letter dated 8th November 2014 requesting the postponement of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations in 2015,” read a statement on CAF’s official website.
“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).
“Therefore, 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.
“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.
“The Executive Committee took note of receipt by 10 November 2014 of some applications of national associations confirming their desire to host the 2015 competition on the dates agreed.
"These applications are currently under review, and 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.
"The Executive Committee confirms the continuation of qualifiers match-days 5 & 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.
The Executive Committee has decided the national team of Morocco is automatically disqualified and will not take part in the Orange Africa Cup of Nations.
“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.”
No decision has yet been made on where the tournament will take place, with CAF currently reviewing a number of options with Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana. Nigeria and South Africa all mentioned as possible replacements.
An announcement is expected within a week with the tournament taking place in January and February.