Monday, 20 October 2014

Ghana Must Not Host CAF's 2015 African Cup Of Nations Football Tournament

It would be a grave error of judgement on the part of our country's leaders to accept to host the 2015 Confederation of African Football's (CAF) African Cup of Nations football tournament.

With Ebola raging out of control in the three nations affected by the current outbreak of the disease in west Africa - Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - CAF would be wise to scrap the 2015  tournament altogether.

That would be a much more responsible step for CAF to take - instead of writing to ask Ghana to host a tournament, which even the original host that won the bid to stage it in the first place, Morocco, has asked to be postponed.

With predictions of as many as 10,000 people a week possibly dying,  if the west African Ebola outbreak worsens, postponement of the 2015 edition of the tournament is a no-brainer, as far as  many football fans around the continent are concerned - and it ought to be a no-brainer for Ghana's leaders too.

 Having been spared from incidents of cases of Ebola infections being recorded anywhere in the country thus far, alas, Ghanaians will never forgive the government of President Mahama, if any cases of Ebola were to be recorded in Ghana, if it staged the 2015 African Cup of Nations football tournament.

 In an age of affordable air travel, the Ebola virus potentially poses a threat to other nations across the continent, too. Nigeria, which has just been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO), learnt that to its cost, when a Liberian-American citizen, Patrick Sawyer, who flew into the country infected a number of Nigerian healthcare professionals before dying in a Lagos hospital.

Who would conduct the needed contact-tracing, for example, if even 100 football fans from outside our shores - all unaware that they were infected with Ebola and showing no signs of the disease - flew into Ghana and then became ill two weeks into the event, if our leaders agreed to stage the 2015 African Nations Cup football tournament?

That nightmarish scenario simply doesn't bear thinking - and no Ghanaian must be allowed to be traumatised by being quarantined for observation for 21 days because they worked in a guest house any such foreign football fan stayed in.

 For that reason alone,  it will not be in the national interest of any African country to stage that particular edition of the tournament - which is why Ghana must not host the 2015 CAF African Cup of Nation's football tournament. A word to the wise...

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