Morocco urges cup delay over Ebola fears

    CAF president Issa Hayatou has been in Rabat, Morocco, for crisis meetings.

    Story highlights

    • Moroccan government urges cup delay over Ebola.
    • Misses deadline set by African soccer body.
    • CAF will now meet Tuesday to find an alternative host.
    • South Africa and Ghana decline to step in and host.
    The Moroccan government has urged African soccer's governing body to delay its flagship bi-annual continental competition over fears that it could help to spread Ebola.
    Morocco is slated to host the African Cup of Nations, organized by the Confederation of African Football [CAF], in January next year.
    The 16 team competition has run since 1957 and the north African country has spent millions of dollars upgrading its stadiums for the event as well as December's FIFA Club World Cup.
    But the outbreak of ebola in west Africa, which has claimed at least 5,000 lives, has raised fears in Morocco that traveling fans and players could help to spread the disease further.
    Of the three countries affected, only Guinea is likely to qualify.
    The statement called any postponement "from 2015 to 2016 ... a strictly health linked case of force majeure."
    Morocco had already called on CAF to push back the tournament.
    But African football bosses had refused to change the dates and set Morocco a deadline to confirm its hosting of the tournament, which has passed.
    Officials from CAF will now meet on Tuesday to decide its next steps and decide who, if anyone, is prepared to host the tournament.
    South Africa and Ghana have already said they are not prepared to host the African Cup of Nations in January.