AFCON: CAF Confirms New Match Venue

wizzyThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) has shifted the matches scheduled to hold in Ebebiyin and Mongomo in Equatorial Guinea to Bata and Malabo, after the group-stage matches left the pitches damaged beyond use.

The tournament officials confirmed the two venue switches on Tuesday and said that all Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final ties will take place in Bata and Malabo.

Originally, the last-eight showdown between Tunisia and hosts Equatorial Guinea was scheduled to take place in Ebebiyin on Saturday.

Similar problems occurred in Mongomo where a quarter-final match was originally slated to take place on Sunday, but that will now be held in the capital Malabo.

That match will kick off at 16:00, which means the remaining quarter-final, also taking place in Malabo, has been pushed back to start at 19:30.

Consequently, the CAF Executive Committee feels that the eight teams qualified for the quarter-final stages onwards should be given the opportunity to play on grounds that provide the highest standards, specifically those of Bata and Malabo, to ensure the quality of play remained at the highest possible level.

There have already been instances of overcrowding at matches earlier in the tournament and police being overrun by supporters.

Moving the match to Bata Stadium, which will also host the final on 8 February, means an extra 30,000 fans will be able to attend.

Report also has it that it is the first time in the history of the Nations Cup that quarter-finals matches have been relocated, but the logistics of holding the tournament in Equatorial Guinea at short notice have presented unique problems.

Ebola Deaths Surge In Sierra Leone, Liberia – WHO

ebola-outbreak-in-uganda_57500_600x450Ebola virus has continued to spread in Sierra Leone, Liberia and to a lesser extent in Guinea, with a combined 44 new cases and 21 deaths between July 6-8.

The latest figures released on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO) brought the total in West Africa’s first outbreak of the deadly viral disease to 888 cases including 539 deaths since February, the United Nations agency said.

“The epidemic trend in Liberia and Sierra Leone remains precarious with high numbers of new cases and deaths being reported,” the WHO said.

Just one confirmed new case had been reported during the past week in Guinea, where the WHO said it was closely monitoring the situation.

There has been resistance among some communities to measures recommended to control the outbreak, such as precautions during traditional burial ceremonies.

Ebola causes vomiting and diarrhoea, impairs kidney and liver function and may cause internal and external bleeding. It kills up to 90 per cent of those infected and is spread by close contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected people. There is no treatment or vaccine.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) set up an Ebola solidarity fund at a summit in the capital of Ghana on Thursday in a bid to back a regional approach to the epidemic. Nigeria committed $3.5 million to affected states.

“We must do everything within our means and power to defeat this deadly disease. We must exercise vigilance and caution and avoid any panic or misinformation,” Ghanaian President John Mahama, who is chairman of ECOWAS, said in a speech in Accra.