By Majid Morceli
By Majid Morceli
San Francisco – As expected, Issa Hayatou, the head of the African Football Confederation (CAF) had already made up his mind before even arriving in Morocco. He did not only brash off Morocco’s request to postpone CAN 2015, but went as far as to dismiss the World Health Organization, which is discouraging big gathering sports events in Africa.
Will Moroccan authorities show the world that the well-being of Moroccans and Africans is more important than a soccer game? Or will they cave in to Issa Hayatou’s ultimatum and accept the hosting of tournament as planned?
This is Morocco’s opportunity to demonstrate that they value human life and they will not venture into the unknown. Ebola is no longer a remote threat. We have already seen that it has no frontiers and has reached countries oceans away from Sierra Leone, Guinea, or Liberia.
Moroccan decision-makers should not even wait until Nov 8 to reject Issa Hayatou’s take-it-or-leave it deal if their real motive for delaying the games is actually Ebola, and not something else, as was insinuated by the legendary Cameroonian former soccer player Roger Milla.
Many suggest that the Moroccans want to buy time to better prepare their mediocre soccer national team for the event. Others argue that Morocco feels that it will not be economically viable to go on with the games, under the pretext that the attendance will be low and the cost to go on with the games is very high. But the most ridiculous rumor that is being spread by some Algerian media, is that Morocco does not want to see the Algerians win the cup in Morocco, and Ebola is just another excuse on the part of the Moroccans.
While we will perhaps never know the true reasons for asking for the postponement of CAN 2015, one thing is sure: as of October 31, Ebola has killed 4,941 out of 13,540 cases.
We also know Morocco is not and will not be ready to face an epidemic tragedy. We have much in our plate than to please Mr. Hayatou. It is understandable that he has engagements and deadlines. But unfortunately Ebola does not care about Mr. Hayatou’s schedule. If Ebola infects you and you happen to live in Morocco, the odds are against you, and there is a good chance that you will die and even kill others with you.
Should Moroccan officials fulfill their duties to keep their people and their neighbors safe or should they just give in to Mr. Hayatou in order to keep his schedule intact? The answer to this question should not be too complicated.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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