Zambia start preps for final AFCON qualifier as CAF meets to announce new 2015 hosts

The Zambia national team has regrouped to prepare for the final two 2015 Africa Cup qualifiers on a weekend that Morocco withdrew as hosts and CAF is meeting in Cairo to announce where the championship will be held.

As Chipolopolo start training today for the must win games against Mozambique and Cape Verde, Morocco face a lengthy ban from international football and a heavy fine after failing to heed a CAF deadline of November 8. The country is also set to be stripped of the right to host the FIFA World Cup after CAF imposes its ban.

The North Africans had requested a postponement because of fears over the Ebola outbreak. A statement from Morocco’s sports ministry said: “The decision is dictated by health reasons because of the serious threat of Ebola and the risk of its spreading.”

However, Caf’s executive committee unanimously agreed to maintain the dates of next year’s competition – which is scheduled to run between 17 January and 8 February.
CAF Secretary General Hicham El Amrani said that consultation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) had been key to the rejection of Morocco’s request.

“Their advice was very clear, in that they only recommend cancelling mass gatherings and football matches in the heavily-affected countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” El Amrani said. Zambian Football KICKOFF/BBC

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