The Africa Cup of Nations, due to be held from January 17 to February 8, will not be postponed because of the Ebola epidemic, the African Football Confederation confirmed on Monday.
Morocco have until the end of the week to confirm whether they will go ahead with hosting next year's Africa Cup of Nations after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Monday the date would not be changed.
Hosts Morocco had called for the tournament to be postponed because of fears that an influx of football supporters into the country could spread the Ebola virus which has killed almost 5,000 people in West Africa. Even coaches in Germany's Bundesliga, like Jürgen Klopp, had questioned whether the 2015 edition of the tournament should be played.
But Junior Binyam, from the CAF, said after meeting with Moroccan officials that there would be no postponement.
"CAF confirms the dates of the tournament," Binyam said, adding that a second meeting was planned for November 11 in CAF's Cairo headquarters to "take the necessary decisions."
Morocco now have until November 8 to respond to CAF, Moroccan football federation spokesman Mohamed Makrouf said. A number of options are still available though. The north African country could either host the tournament as planned, it could push for it to move to another country, or the entire tournament could be cancelled, he said.
"Any change of dates would be to the detriment of the CAF calendar, which must follow FIFA's international calendar," CAF's Binyam insisted.
al/nm (AFP, Reuters)