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Show will go on: Ebola won’t stop Africa Cup of Nations

FOOTBALL CHIEF: CAF president Issa Hayatou (PA)

MOROCCO HAS been told by the continent’s football authority to stage the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as scheduled after the North Africans wanted to delay the bi-annual tournament in light of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The original date of January 17 will remain as the opening day, according to Confederation of African Football (CAF), despite fears that the deadly virus could spread due to an influx of fans to Morocco.

Ebola has claimed the lives of over 5,000 people, with the vast majority of fatalities occurring in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

CAF said they did not want to disrupt Fifa’s international calendar. The body’s media director Junior Binyam said: “CAF confirms the dates of the tournament.

TRENDING: Prevalent areas of Ebola's outbreak

“Any change of dates would be to the detriment of the CAF calendar, which must follow FIFA's international calendar.”

In a statement given yesterday, CAF accused Morocco of alarmism. It added: "Of the three countries where the epidemic is prevalent, only Guinea retains a chance of qualifying for the final tournament.

“In addition, Guinea hosts its home games in Casablanca and has adhered to a strict health protocol implemented by Morocco that has so far showed no flaws."

The news that the show will go on comes after a social media started trending an image countering irrational fears that the whole Africa has been affected by Ebola. The image highlights Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, emphasising how small the affected area is compared to the rest of the continent’s land mass.

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