This was contained in a circular signed by the CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani and sent to the 54 affiliated National Associations, on Tuesday 12 August 2014. It also provides the answer to the questions many people have been asking concerning the organisation’s stance on the spread of Ebola virus in some West African countries.
The underlying consequence of this decision is the fact that the group phase matches; Guinea vs Togo on 5 September 2014, and Sierra-Leone vs. DR Congo on 10 September 2014, will be played on neutral grounds.
CAF, which is following the situation with much concern and peculiar attention took its decision based on “advice from several medical experts on the potential impact of the spread of the Ebola virus in relation to the organisation of matches and CAF competitions” adding that a formal notice has also been received from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in that regard.
The WHO has called for “an avoidance of huge gatherings that could facilitate the spread of the Ebola virus.”
Also, the circular gives a didactic perspective and recommends the website of WHO (http://who.int/ith/updates/20140421/fr/), and urges CAF member associations to use their respective agencies to sensitise on the virus and thus contribute to uplift minds and promote good practices.
“CAF will reassess the situation will be done in mid-September 2014 in order to allow or not these countries to receive teams and organise CAF matches and competitions.
“In addition, according to the same WHO recommendations, it is extremely important that every Federation, whose country is affected by the virus, should ensure that their respective delegations travelling abroad can be examined before their departure in order to ensure that no member can transmit Ebola.
“On the other hand, each National Association receiving delegations is obliged to communicate all the necessary information delivered by health authorities to ensure the reception of teams and officials from various countries, including those from affected countries, and to proceed, if necessary, to additional checks at arrival points if required.
According to WHO statistics, 1848 cases have been reported causing the deaths of 1013 persons in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.