Friday, 14 November 2014

Equatorial Guinea to host Africa Cup of Nations

Equatorial Guinea will host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) have confirmed.

Morocco had originally been set to host the tournament, but then asked for it to be delayed due to fears over the spread of the Ebola virus, which has claimed over 5,000 lives across Africa.

Caf rejected that request and subsequently stripped Morocco of the tournament, as well as ejecting their national team from the competition, and has now awarded the tournament to Equatorial Guinea.

The Central African country co-hosted the 2012 staging of the Afcon with Gabon, but has taken on sole duties this time around.

Talks with Caf chief Issa Hayatou were held on Friday and a decision was quickly made to take the tournament to Malabo, Bata, Mongomo and Ebebiyin.

"The Head of State and President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, received the President of CAF Issa Hayatou this Friday, November 14 concerning the possibility of Equatorial Guinea hosting the Africa Cup of Nations 2015," a Caf statement reads.

"Following friendly and fruitful discussions, the Head of State of Equatorial Guinea has agreed to host the tournament from January 17 to February 8, 2015.

"The Executive Committee of CAF President Issa Hayatou would like to take this opportunity to express their sincere thanks and deep appreciation to the people of Equatorial Guinea, to their government, and particularly to the Head of State and President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo."

A draw for the tournament will take place on Wednesday, December 3 in Malabo.

Equatorial Guinea have also been confirmed as Morocco's replacements to take part in the competition, despite being earlier disqualified for fielding an ineligible player in qualifying.

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