CAF orders Guinea to play Ghana at neutral venue in AFCON qualifiers
Ghana will play Guinea at a neutral venue Sierra Leone after CAF told them to relocate their home Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers because of the Ebola virus outbreaks in their country.
According to a report on the BBC, three countries including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have been asked to play their home matches at neutral venues because of Ebola.
Caf says the measure will remain in place until mid-September.
It means at least the first two round of matches, scheduled for 5-6 and 10 September, will be affected.
This means Guinea’s home match against the Black Stars scheduled for 11 October will be played at a neutral venue if the situation does not improve because of the outbreak of the dangerous disease.
Caf says it is “a preventative measure to avoid mass gatherings that could facilitate the spread of the virus”.
To date, the World Health Organisation has reported 1848 cases of Ebola, which have resulted in 1013 deaths mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Sierra Leone had already said it would not host any football matches until further notice and they have asked Ghana if they can host their Group D matches there.
As a result of Caf’s directive, Guinea will need to find a new venue for their Group E tie against Togo.
Caf has also moved to allay fears centred on the countries’ away fixtures, saying that “each federation whose country is affected by the virus must ensure their delegations travelling abroad can be examined before departure”.
It added that “each national association receiving delegations must communicate the necessary information delivered by health authorities to ensure the reception of teams… and if necessary to provide additional checks at arrival points”.
Sierra Leone are due to play Ivory Coast, DR Congo and Cameroon in the last round of qualifying, which runs from early September to mid-November.
Guinea’s group also includes Ghana and Uganda.
The qualifying competition will decide the 15 teams to join hosts Morocco at the Nations Cup finals in January and February next year.