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Soccer chief happy with anti-Ebola measures at Afcon

16 January 2015, 18:23

Bata - African football chiefs voiced confidence in anti-Ebola measures which hosts Equatorial Guinea have put in place on the eve of the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations.

"We are very confident (in the measures that have been taken). That was one of the key points of the deal," said Hicham El Amrani, secretary general of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

More than 8,000 people have died of the virus in west Africa, with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea the hardest hit. So far Equatorial Guinea has been untouched.

Also read: AFCON looks to entice fans

The country agreed to take over Africa's biggest footballing event after original hosts Morocco asked the confederation to postpone the event to avoid spreading Ebola further.

That request was dismissed, and Morocco was thrown out of the competition.

The UN's Ebola coordinator David Nabarro on Thursday said that the crisis had "passed the tipping point" and there is now a reasonable chance the deadly outbreak could end quickly.

He welcomed fresh data from the World Health Organization showing that all three of the hardest-hit countries had registered the lowest weekly tally of new cases in months.

Amrani stressed that "Equatorial Guinea has invested in key equipment, including specialised ambulances" to deal with the disease, adding that an anti-Ebola committee of doctors from other countries was in place and the CAF had sent its own medical official for talks with the country's health minister.

"There is a concrete plan in place, and we have communicated with the teams," who have agreed to undergo tests upon arrival and departure from (the capital) Malabo."

Africa Cup of Nations hosts Equatorial Guinea will play the tournament's opening game on Saturday against Congo Brazzaville.



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