With the African Cup of Nations kicking off Saturday, I thought it would be interesting to put this topic out there and see what the reactions are now that the tournament is upon us. A while back I saw this article on ESPN FC and it got me thinking – what are the greater sociopolitical aspects at play here? (For those who didn’t click through, Morocco withdrew as hosts of the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). As a result, Morocco was booted from the competition.) At first glance, many would say that Morocco is just being cautious and about backing out of hosting the African Cup of Nations due to the very tenuous situation currently in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea (not the Guinea that’s been chosen to replace Morocco). Is the decision to strip Morocco of their ability to play in the games fair? I’m not so sure there. While the country qualified for the tournament through the fact that they are hosts, I don’t believe they should be punished for doing what is likely the most prudent and safe thing to do. Not only for their players, but for their country as a whole, and possibly the rest of Africa and the world from any possible knock-on effects. It’s another opportunity for the disease to have a platform on which to spread. Many fans will be cris-crossing the continent following their national squad, and the last thing that they need is to exacerbate the issues in West Africa. The media attention surrounding the ebola crisis in the States here has waned significantly,CNN and Fox found new shiny objects to misrepresent for everyone, but it still remains a distinct problem in the region of West Africa. Morocco, positioned precariously close and due north of the affected areas, doesn’t wish to see itself become another breeding ground for the fatal disease. Can they be faulted for that?
Who knows, maybe the Moroccans are glad they’re not traveling, ya know, with all that voodoo and bad juju down there…
Annnnd hello nightmares.
Hands clasped we pray for olé…and Wilfried Bony to use the tournament to rev up for City, I really like the guy and hope he does well in a talented (and crowded) City squad!