Sports Minister Mbalula statement on hosting 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Morocco


According to reports earlier this week, Morocco are said to have withdrawn from staging the event due to fears sparked by the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.

SAFA later announced they will hold a press conference today on the matter, having yesterday dismissed claims that they were on standby to take over the tournament responsibilities.

Mbalula's office has since released a statement, which reads: "We have noted media reports relating to South Africa possibly hosting African Nations Cup in place of Morocco in January 2015.

"It has been widely reported on the media that Morocco is alleged to have cancelled the hosting of the tournament on basis of Ebola fears and that South Africa could step in as a host.

"We must put it categorially clear that SAFA has not approached the Minister with regard to this possibility.

"Nevertheless as the Minister also reiterated during interviews throughout this week, there are just too many factors to consider for South Africa if we are too host a tournament of this magnitude.

"Our major concern of course remains the cost implications of such a tournament when South Africa is currently grappling with its own fiscal challenges. A tournament of this nature, if planned outside the normal budgetary cycle, will require budgetary adjustments, a process that is currently not an option.

"The tournament, as is also a concern for Morocco and many other countries in the world, may also pose a challenge on how we can grapple with the Ebola challenge engulfing the continent at the moment.

"We will however await pronouncements from SAFA on this matter and respond factually once all facts are put before us."