Football: Sierra Leone refused entry to Seychelles over Ebola virus fears
August 2, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
The Sierra Leone football team line up before a World Cup qualifying match against Tunisia in June 2013.
- Sierra Leone football players prevented from entering Seychelles over Ebola fears
- Seychelles forfeits African Cup of Nations qualifier as a result
- Ebola has claimed at least 224 lives in Sierra Leone in recent months
Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook
(CNN) -- Concern over the spread of the Ebola virus has caused the cancellation of an African Cup of Nations football match.
The Seychelles was due to host Sierra Leone in a qualifying game on Saturday, but the tiny island nation's ministries of health and immigration prevented the visiting players from entering the country.
At least 525 cases of Ebola have been reported in Sierra Leone since March, 224 of which have been fatal.
Seychelles, which was trailing 2-0 after losing the away leg of the second-round qualifier in Sierra Leone on July 19, has forfeited both the tie and its hopes of reaching next year's tournament finals.
Sierra Leone players were on Friday reportedly prevented from boarding a plane at Kenya's Nairobi Airport that would have taken them to the Seychelles.
El virus del ébola
Ebola patients to be treated in the U.S.
Tracking Ebola patient's journey to U.S.
Seychelles Football Federation president Elvis Chetty told CNN that there was little choice but to follow government advice and forfeit the match, which was to be held in the capital Victoria.
"After being advised by the ministry of health to postpone the match for an indefinite period, the ministry of immigration informed us it would not allow the team from Sierra Leone to enter the Seychelles," Chetty said.
"Subsequently, the SFF felt it was prudent to forfeit the scheduled match as opposed to asking for a postponement.
"We respect the decisions taken by the authorities to safeguard the health interests of our country.
"Our thoughts are with the Sierra Leone people in their hour of need."
There have been more than 1,300 confirmed or suspected Ebola cases in West Africa since March, when cases of the virus were first reported in Guinea.
Other countries to be affected include Liberia and Nigeria.
Sierra Leone president Ernest Bai Koroma has declared a public health emergency in his country in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus.
One of the country's athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland was taken to hospital last week to be tested for Ebola after feeling unwell.
However, cyclist Moses Sesay was cleared and was able to compete in Thursday's men's individual time trial.
Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever, affecting multiple organs and accompanied by bleeding. There is no known cure or specific treatments.
The World Health Organization has said that drastic action is needed to contain what has fast become the worst outbreak on record.
Read: Tevez's father released after kidnap
Read: Soccer team plays in tuxedos
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.