CAPE TOWN - New hosts for the 2015 African Nations Cup will be named within three days after Morocco was ruled out amid fears of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Wednesday.
CAF president Issa Hayatou said the regional governing body would talk to countries who were interested in taking over the Jan. 17 to Feb. 8 finals and expected a quick resolution amid suggestions Qatar had been sounded out about hosting the event.
Speaking to France 24, Hayatou also reiterated CAF's stance that by giving in to Morocco's request to have the date of the tournament moved it would set an unwanted precedent.
"Once you postpone this event, it will open the door for everybody to ask for a delay of any competition and we will no longer be credible," Hayatou said.
"We will hurt our sponsors and partners. Everyone will say we are not ready and finally it is CAF that will pay the price. That is what I told the Moroccans.
Also read: Morocco dropped as AFCON host
"We cannot sign our death warrant because if we postpone this event it will be very deadly for African football. For 57 years, we have patiently built this house, which today is the pride of all Africans.
"They have this festival every two years and we are not about to leave the opportunity to anyone to destroy the work we have patiently developed over the years.
"I cannot tell you where it will be played. All I can tell you is that it will take place."
Angola, Egypt, Gabon and Nigeria were the countries being touted as possible replacement hosts by African media.
French sports daily L'Equipe suggested on Wednesday that 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar could also be set to help.
Morocco believes thousands of travelling supporters from west Africa pose a risk and wanted a postponement of at least six months while the fight against Ebola intensified.
CAF announced it would seek legal redress from Morocco based on its contractual agreement with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation which was signed in April.
Moroccan football is also likely to be heavily sanctioned, including a likely ban from future Nations Cup competitions.
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