GMA kicks against Ghana hosting AFCON 2015

Mahama Ayariga Blue SuitThe Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has expressed its displeasure over government’s decision  to consider the request by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for Ghana to host the 2015 African Cup of Nations should Morocco withdraw as hosts.

The Minister of Youth and Sports confirmed in an interview on Thursday with Citi Sports that the country had been approached by CAF about the possibility of hosting the biannual tournament in 2015, after reports that original hosts are considering withdrawing.

“CAF wrote to us a few days ago actually and indicated that Morocco had given strong indications that they will pull out if CAF did not change the date,” he revealed.

Media also indicate that 2013 AFCON hosts, South Africa, are being considered by the governing body of African football as replacement hosts.

Ebola has already claimed the lives of about 4,500 people in West Africa, with Guinea and Sierra Leone, two of the most affected countries, still involved in qualification for the tournament.

Speaking to Citi News, the Deputy General Secretary of the GMA, Dr. Justice Yankson, says it will be risky for the government to accept the request from CAF.

“If people are going to be here for more than or close to a month, some could come in at a point where they do not have a full blown infection or are not exhibiting the symptoms. But the symptoms could come in after they have already entered the country. That is something we need to think about. Before we take a final decision, we really need to sit down and do our homework well.”

The Moroccan youth and sports minister Mohamed Ouzzine said on Thursday that though they had not yet withdrawn as hosts, they consider the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has advised against big gatherings to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Moroccan government lodged a request to CAF to postpone the tournament because of concerns over the Ebola epidemic, after it had ordered a report into the possibility that the tournament might lead to the disease spreading, in order “to avoid events which involve those countries affected by the Ebola virus.”

CAF stated that no changes will be made to its schedule ahead of the tournament, although they would consider the request by the Moroccans on November 2.

“Our concern is the health of Africa, and based on WHO reports and guidelines, we have to listen,” Ouzzine said.

“We will discuss these things when we meet with Caf – and we might even debate other options. But I beg you, what’s the significance of the financial losses compared to human losses? A human being is priceless.”

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