CAF slams UEFA president for interference in AFCON

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has slammed UEFA president Michel Platini for “interference” in the scheduling of the African Nations Cup held in Morocco in January 2015.

Platini questioned whether the tournament should be postponed due to the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, with Morocco already having requested it to be moved. However, CAF have reacted angrily to the suggestions and insisted that UEFA should respect its ”sovereignty.”

A statement on the CAF website read: “In a televised broadcast on the evening of Sunday, 19 October 2014, the President of the Union of European Football Association (UEFA), Michel Platini, found it necessary to question maintaining the scheduled date of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2015.

“The issue has been debated and has been in the public domain the last few days following a request for postponement by the Kingdom of Morocco due to the Ebola outbreak.

“On this issue, many speakers, including Mr Platini, have been making reference to the World Health Organization (WHO) to justify their support for a deferral of the championship.

“This is without any reference to a single recommendation of that organization that the postponement of any sporting event on the African continent or outside, in other countries where cases are reported, with which the CAF has been in constant contact since the beginning of the epidemic on the continent.

“Apart from the three countries heavily affected by the epidemic namely; Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the WHO has clearly indicated to CAF on the need to avoid huge gatherings, that measure for now only applies to no other country on the continent.

“CAF under the leadership of its President, Issa Hayatou, has always promoted free expression within it. Far from it therefore, claim to deprive anyone latitude to express themselves.

“But we must beware of what appears in every way as interference by a president of a Confederation, in cases involving first and foremost Africa and CAF.

“Under the principle of non-interference required to comply, CAF has refrained so far to comment on some issues on the managing of European football or any other continent.

“Despite the risks involved in armed conflict in Ukraine, a country where a civilian plane was shot down killing nearly 300 people, UEFA did not consider it necessary to exclude Ukrainian clubs from its competitions as a security parameter by hosting games outside this nation, as treacherously raised once it is about Africa.

“CAF hereby reaffirm the importance it attaches to respect of its sovereignty and does not intend to let anyone interfere in the management of its affairs.”

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