Ghana yet to decide on 2015 AFCON hosting – Mahama

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Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama says the government has yet to take any decision to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

The state-owned Graphic newspaper on Tuesday quoted him as saying in London that the government would critically weigh the options before arriving at any decision on whether to host the tournament or not.

The Confederation of Africa Football has written to Ghana to consider hosting the tournament, following the request by the original host, Morocco, for a postponement due to the outbreak of Ebola which has killed some 4,500 people in West Africa.

He said, “We will take the best interest of Ghanaians at heart. As President, I don’t want to see Ebola spread to my country.

“And so, if Morocco expresses concern about the Ebola disease, for which they want postponement, we are going to look at that carefully before we take a decision whether to host AFCON or not.”

He noted that Morocco had not officially pulled out “and so that is not an issue”.

Mahama said the Youth and Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga had explained to him that the government would have to consult with the health authorities on the threats before taking a decision on AFCON.

Mahama, however, indicated that Ghana was going ahead with its bid for the 2017 tournament because the country had the wherewithal to host it.

Ghanaian doctors have been leading a chorus of organisations and individuals to kick against the country hosting the 2015 AFCON tournament in January.

They warn that it will be risky to accept CAF’s request because of the dangers of Ebola on the population.

The Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Justice Yankson, said last Friday that all stakeholders need to look at the CAF request properly before a decision is taken.

He said, “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.”

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