Saturday Oct 11, 2014. 15:02
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) insisted Saturday there will be no change to the dates for next year’s AFCON despite a request by hosts Morocco due to the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.
The tournament is billed to be played from January 17 to February 8 in Morocco.
The Moroccan government announced on Friday that it wanted the biennial 16-team event postponed following a report by the Moroccan health ministry into the possible spread of the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 4,000 people since the outbreak was first reported in west Africa in March of this year.
CAF said it will send a high-powered delegation, led by its president Issa Hayatou, to meet the Moroccan government next month to discuss the issue in Rabat.
"CAF acknowledges this request and confirms it will make no changes to its calendar of scheduled competitions," read a statement on the CAF website Saturday.
"We have taken into account the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and various medical experts. It should be noted that since the first edition in 1957 no Africa Cup of Nations has ever been postponed or deferred.
"The request of the Moroccans will be discussed at the next meeting of the CAF executive committee scheduled for November 2 in Algiers.
"Subsequently a meeting will be organised between CAF and the Moroccans in Rabat on November 3. The delegation will be led by CAF president Issa Hayatou."
CAF have already banned international matches in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, which have been affected by the virus.