2015 Nations Cup: Equatorial Guinea Now New Host

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Reports this afternoon say Equatorial Guinea, one of Africa’s smallest countries, has been given the right to host the 2015 African Nations Cup finals by the Confederation of African Football, CAF.

The oil-rich Spanish-speaking nation hosted the 2012 finals with neighbours Gabon, but will take on the 16-team tournament on their own from 17 January – 8 February, despite the fact they have only two major stadiums in the capital Malabo and Bata.

Previous hosts Morocco wanted the tournament postponed over fears of a spread of the Ebola virus, but CAF refused and on Tuesday stripped the North African country of the right to host the event.

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It is not clear whether the new hosts will be able to play in the tournament. Equatorial Guinea was originally disqualified from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football in July, for fielding an ineligible player in a qualifier against Mauritania.

The latest development may not be unconnected with the visit of CAF President Issa Hayatou who had a scheduled meeting with Head of State of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

“Issa Hayatou is arriving here on Friday to offer the organisation of AFCON 2015 to the President of the Republic,” the head of Communication for the Equatorial Guinea Football Association announced yesterday.

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