The players and officials of the Black Stars have undergone testing for Ebola following their arrival in the Equatorial Guinea on Thursday for the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
The Black Stars arrived in the host country on Thursday from Spain where they played two friendlies as part of their preparations for the tournament and were checked for any signs of the disease at the airport.
The mandatory tests for the teams participating at the tournament were announced by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday as part of measures to ensure an Ebola-free tournament. In a statement on Wednesday, CAF stated that “All the delegations are landing in Malabo for health checks.” The Cape Verde team – who were the first to arrive in Equatorial Guinea – and DR Congo were among the first to have been tested. “It was the case for Cape Verde yesterday and DR Congo today. And it will be the case for all the teams,” the statement from CAF said. Equatorial Guinea took over as host of the tournament after the original host, Morocco, pulled out because of concerns over Ebola.
The Moroccans had asked CAF to consider postponing the the tournament a suggestion which was reject by the body. The Morocco health ministry made the plea, after their government had ordered a report into the possibility that the tournament might lead to the disease spreading, in order “to avoid events which involve those countries affected by the Ebola virus.” Ebola has claimed the lives of over 8,000 people in Africa’s most affected countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, who have qualified for the tournament.
The 2015 AFCON kicks-off on Saturday, January 17 and runs until the final match on February 8. The Black Stars will face Algeria, Senegal and South Africa in Group C in what is widely regarded as the toughest at the tournament.