Issa Hayatou ? CAF President ?
Issa Hayatou ? CAF President ?

Ghana?s decision to bid for the hosting of the African Cup of Nations, 2015, has drawn sharp reactions from the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).

Issa Hayatou ? CAF President  ?
Issa Hayatou ? CAF President
?

The GMA said the government should reconsider its decision because of the health and security risks in hosting such a tournament could pose to Ghanaians.

The association said Ghanaians risked contracting the Ebola viral disease in view of the mass participation that such a tournament would attract.

Morocco was originally scheduled to host the tournament but has asked the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to postpone the event, otherwise it will withdraw from hosting it because of security and health concerns.

Early this week, Moroccan Sports Minister, Mr Mohammed Ouzzine, was quoted as saying Morocco was considering what action to take if CAF refused to grant its request.

?We?ve arranged to meet and discuss the technical options connected to this demand for postponement. This demand is motivated essentially by the last report from the World Health Organisation,(WHO), which contained alarming numbers at the extent and spread of the Ebola virus??, he said.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday, Dr Kwabena Poku-Adusei, the President of the GMA, said Ghana faced similar security and health risks which informed Morocco?s decision to withdraw.

Therefore, he said, there was the need for the government to place the interest, security and the safety of Ghanaians above any economic gains that would accrue from hosting the tournament.

According to the WHO, the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa had gone beyond 4,000.

Death toll

More than 6,500 people are believed to have been infected in the sub-region. Liberia is said to be the worst affected country, having recorded around 1, 830 deaths.

A recent research said Ghana topped the list of 30 countries likely to be affected by the Ebola disease. The risk notwithstanding, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Mahama Ayariga, says Ghana is ready to host next year?s African Cup of Nations.

He told an Accra radio station that the ministry was working with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to explore the possibility of organising a successful nations cup tournament next year.

But a number of Ghanaians are not in favour of the government?s decision to host the tournament next year.

Dr Poku-Adusei wondered why Morocco, which was far away from three Ebola infected countries in West Africa, had decided to withdraw from hosting the tournament, but Ghana, which was close to the endemic countries, would decide to host such a tournament.

Cholera

Using the recent outbreak of cholera in the country which has claimed 174 lives to reinforce the viewpoint of the GMA, Dr Poku-Adusei said the fact that the country had challenges in its effort to contain the outbreak of cholera was an indication that ?we could have more difficulties in terms of capacity and resources to deal with a more dreadful disease such as Ebola.?

He said it was important for the government to be mindful of the fact that if countries such as the United States of America (USA) were grappling with how to contain Ebola, then Ghana could have more difficulties in dealing with Ebola in the event of an outbreak, adding that ?this is the more reason why we should be circumspect??.

Source Daily Graphic

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