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Sports News of Thursday, 6 November 2014


Oppong Weah cautions CAF on Ebola

Former World Footballer of the Year, George Weah, has warned Caf of the consequence of handling the Ebola virus disease “with levity” at the expense of the 2015 Afcon.

The 48-year-old Liberian explained to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that Morocco should be given time to put “precautionary plans in place” to combat the deadly virus, which has “killed thousands of people” in his country.

Weah has called on Caf to extend the date of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations if Morocco billed to play hosts to the tournament feel they are unprepared under the current circumstance with the Ebola virus disease now at “epidemic” level.

The former AC Milan and Paris St Germain striker believes that it will be careless to go ahead with the tournament amid the danger the virus could cause to the continent.

“I come from a country where Ebola has killed thousands of people. So it is best to take precautions. We are aware that the world is experiencing the (Ebola) epidemic, and it should not be handled with levity as we must all fight very hard to eradicate it in our midst.

“If Morocco are saying they need time to put precautionary plans in place for players and officials, and fans for the Afcon to be safe, then they should be given time to achieve this. We should all be helping Morocco to put in place measures to ensure the safety of those that would participate in the competition.

“Everybody loves this game but nobody really wants to go to the Nations Cup and return home to die. So if Morocco is asking for the dates to be extended for the safety of players, officials and fans, then they should be given that extension of time for our safety,” Weah, who is bidding to run for a sentorial seat in the Montserrado County in his country, told reporters after watching Giwa FC defeat Sharks 2-1 in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

Africa’s apex football governing body, Caf, has already rejected a change in date proposal from Morocco and has given the North African nation to decide on whether they still want to play hosts or not to the 2015 Afcon.

Morocco had requested that the Afcon be moved to June 2015 or January 2016 due to the Ebola outbreak, which has killed almost 5,000 persons in West Africa.

But Caf has insisted on the tournament going ahead as scheduled between January 17 and February 8, 2015 and said it will announce a new host should Morocco back down on playing hosts.