by Mark Bassey
Equatorial Guinea has been chosen by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as the replacement-host for the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Morocco was originally picked to host the tournament, but the North African country implored CAF to postpone the tournament over fears of the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West Africa.
Their request was shunned by CAF. The continental football body insisted that the tournament will proceed as planned, and went further to drop the Morocco as hosts and also disqualify the country from participating in the competition.
CAF has now announced that the Republic of Equitorial Guinea has accepted to host the Africa Cup of Nations Orange 2015. It released a statement to disseminate the new development.
“The Head of State and President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo this Friday 14 November met with the President of CAF Issa Hayatou concerning the possibility for Equatorial Guinea to host the Africa Cup of Nations Orange 2015. Following fraternal and fruitful discussions, the Head of State of Equatorial Guinea has agreed to host the tournament from January 17 to February 8, 2015.”
“Therefore, the Executive Committee of CAF confirms that the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2015 will be held in Equatorial Guinea on the dates agreed, and the national team of Equatorial Guinea is qualified for the final tournament as a representative of the country host. The four cities selected for the finals are Malabo, Bata, Mongomo and Ebebiyin. The draw for the finals will take place Wednesday, December 3, 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The Executive Committee of CAF and President Issa Hayatou seize this opportunity to express their sincere thanks and deep appreciation to the people of Equatorial Guinea, its government, and particularly to His Excellency the Head of State and President of the Republic Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.”