Soccer News of 2014-08-07

Ebola scare hits Black Stars

Ghana’s top players are in danger of catching the deadly Ebola virus when they play Guinea in two matches in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in two months’ time.

Black Stars top players like Juventus star Kwadwo Asamoah, Andre Ayew of Marsielle and Asamoah Gyan could be forced by their clubs to pull out of the two matches between the two countries in October because Guinea is among the countries noted for Ebola presence.

The Ghana Football Association must now contact CAF to complain about the possibility of the dangerous disease affecting it players which could force the game to be moved to a neutral venue.

However, the West African country will still be in danger of being hit by the dangerous disease when players and officials of the Sylli National travel to Accra for the return-leg if they are infected by the contagious disease. Ghana’s health authorities can now consider refusing to grant Guinea entry to their country because of the disease.

Ebola has spread rapidly in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, killing nearly 900 people. Cases have also been reported in Nigeria.

Ghana will play Guinea in October in two qualifying matches but the confirmed and growing number of Ebola cases in the country must force the GFA to file a complaint with CAF.

This has resulted in Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) suspending all football matches in the country until further notice because of the Ebola outbreak.

Sierra Leone’s national team is due to play in the final round of qualifying for next year’s Cup of Nations from Sept. 5. It is scheduled to play its first home game in the qualifiers against Congo on Sept. 10.

As a result, Sierra Leone’s participation in the group stage of qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations has been placed in doubt.

They are set to host DR Congo on 10 September but that game cannot go ahead unless the ban is lifted.

There are also doubts over whether the team could play its away fixtures. The Leone Stars made it through the last round after Seychelles forfeited the second leg of their tie on advice of its health ministry.

Seychelles immigration officials prevented the Sierra Leone team from boarding a plane heading to the country from Kenya’s Nairobi Airport over fears that the Ebola virus could potentially be spread to the island.

It is uncertain whether other nations may follow suit and refuse to grant Sierra Leone entry to their country – or if they may opt not to play in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone authorities ordered people to stay at home on Monday to try and halt the spread of the disease. Liberia had already canceled all football activity because of Ebola, which has no vaccine and an 80 percent fatality rate in this outbreak, the worst ever recorded.

Guinea and Nigeria are also set to play in the final qualifying round for next year’s African Cup in Morocco. Liberia has been eliminated.

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