CAF reject Malawi Ebola fears as Guinea game goes ahead

A request to move an African Nations Cup qualifier from Guinea, where two new cases of Ebola have been confirmed, has been rejected by the Confederation of African Football, the Cairo-based organisation said on Wednesday.

Malawi had asked for their Group L qualifier, set for Conakry on Friday, to be moved after Guinea last week said two people had tested positive for the Ebola virus.

Guinea had previously been declared free of the virus and a ban on international football being hosted in the country was lifted by CAF in early January.

“Following the exchange of correspondences on the subject between the CAF Secretariat and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the latter said the new cases were discovered in the Guinean forest region of Nzerekore, adding there is no travel ban imposed on Guinea by the organisation, thus posing no threat on the hosting of a football match in Conakry,” said a CAF statement on Wednesday.

Friday’s match will be Guinea’s first international at home since August 2014. In between, they were forced to host their ‘home’ matches in Casablanca, Morocco.

The world’s worst recorded Ebola epidemic is believed to have started in Guinea and killed about 2,500 people by December last year, at which point the WHO said the virus was no longer being actively transmitted.

More than 11,300 people have died since the outbreak began in 2013, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The WHO did warn last week however that Ebola could resurface at any time, since it can linger in the eyes, central nervous system and bodily fluids of some survivors.