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South Africa likely to ‘hijack’ AFCON again

17 October 2014, 11:17Russel Adadevoh

Accra - South Africa looks set to step in to rescue the Africa Cup of Nations again after it emerged Morocco would not host the tournament in fear of the Ebola virus.

The likelihood of the Southern African country hosting the tournament for the third time has not gone down well with the Ghana football community who argue the country is "hijacking" the biennial event.

Ghana had reportedly expressed interest in hosting the tournament but it looks likely South Africa will win the right.

"This will be fraud of the worst levels! Africa has 54 countries, and they should be afforded the opportunity to host Afcon if ever Morocco withdraws its availability," said Mahama Owuso, an Accra businessman.

Ghana Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga said should Morocco pulls out of the hosting of Afcon, Ghana would takeover.

Ayariga confirmed that CAF had since written to Ghana requesting that it gets ready in the event that Morocco withdrew from hosting the 2015 Afcon tournament the West Africa's second largest economy takes over.

"CAF wrote to us a few days ago actually and indicated that Morocco has given strong indications, that they will pull out if CAF did not change the date, and CAF also indicated that it was firm on those dates," Ayariga said.

Also read: Algeria, Cape Verde qualify for AFCON 2015

He said CAF would meet with the Moroccan authorities to establish whether the north African nation would continue hosting or else CAF takes away the tournament to nations with capacity to host the Afcon 2015.

"They (CAF) are writing to us to consider hosting Afcon 2015 in the event of Morocco actually pulling out if they are unable to reach an agreement on the date," Ayariga said.

South Africa first hosted in 1996 after initial hosts Kenya could not adequately prepare. The 2014 edition it hosted was initially set for Libya but upheavals in North Africa put paid to such chances.

On Friday morning, South Africa Football Association announced a hastily arranged conference to "discuss" AFCON 2015.

-CAJ News

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