CAF deems Calabar safe to host Nigeria-Rwanda match
After concerns from Rwanda football governing body, Ferwafa, the Confederation of African football (CAF) has reinstated Calabar, a Southern coastal town of Nigeria to host the September 6 Nations Cup qualifier between Super Eagles and Amavubi.
Early this week, Ferwafa requested that African football governing body (CAF) move their next month clash with the Super Eagles to another venue due to the spread of the deadly disease, Ebola.
Nigeria, who are the African champions are expected to face Rwanda on September 6 in Calabar, for their Group A opener for the 2014 Afcon qualifiers.
Ferwafa president Vincent DegauleNzamwitasaid that they would not want to take a risk of entering Nigeria for the duel.
“We are worried about the spread of Ebola in Nigeria and we are scared of entering the country.
“We have requested Caf to switch the match venue to a safer one and we are waiting for a decision to be made. We are also waiting on Government to make a decision on how exactly we can make sure the players and entire delegation are safe,” he said.
In a circular signed by the CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani and sent to the 54 affiliated National Associations, Amrani said,“CAF will maintain its schedule of matches on the entire continent, except for 3 countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, which have recorded a great number of cases.”
“CAF has decided to ask the three Federations (…) to relocate to a neutral country the matches of their teams participating in CAF competitions, for a period up to mid-September 2014.”
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.
The Sierra Leone Football Federation has already taken steps with its Ghanaian counterparts to host their game in the latter’s territory.
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.”
“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.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Spokesman,AdemolaOlajirerevealed that
Calabar is safe for the encounter.
Ebola was detected in Guinea in March and has since spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. Over 1000 people have lost their lives to the deadly virus in West Africa and authorities are recording 1,848 confirmed or suspected cases. 10 cases have been reported in Lagos.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of national emergency last Friday. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has referred to the Ebola spread as a world health crisis.