CAPE TOWN, Oct 20 (Reuters) - South Africa will not step in as emergency hosts of the African Nations Cup if Morocco pulls out because of the Ebola epidemic, sports minister Fikile Mbalula said on Monday.
“Hosting AFCON next year is a NO NO,” the minister tweeted in response to a request from the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
He followed it up an hour later with another tweet saying “South Africa is not the Big Brother of Africa & thus we won’t be hosting AFCON year after year.”
South Africa, who replaced Libya as the 2013 hosts, were among seven countries asked by African football’s governing body to consider stepping in at the last minute to host next January’s tournament.
Morocco have asked for a postponement of the event from Jan. 17-Feb. 8 because of fears over the spread of the worst Ebola outbreak on record which has killed more than 4,500 people, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
A postponement has been rejected by CAF, who will travel to Rabat on Nov. 4 for talks with Moroccan government officials. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Alan Baldwin)