Some football pundits on Tuesday lent their support to Morocco over their announcement to opt out of hosting the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to run from January 17 to February 8.
Morocco had indicated its inability to manage the crowd due to the recent outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease affecting some West African countries.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has also refused the request and set a deadline of November 8 for the country to confirm if it would host the tournament.
The deadline was also given to any countries which may want to step in as replacement hosts.
Morocco, which last staged the finals in 1988 and which would host FIFA’s Club World Cup in December, had asked for the 16-team tournament to take place in either June 2015 or January 2016.
However CAF has yet to come up with a decision on when and where the competition would hold.
An ex-international, Henry Nwosu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Morocco had a fair case which CAF should consider.
According to Nwosu, the outbreak of the dreaded disease is real and should be considered before anything else.
“Morocco has presented a very good reason, it is not a question of facilities but the health of their people and the scare the disease can bring at this time.
“They also got CAF informed ahead of time, so, we cannot blame them now that we have just 34 days to the continental competition,” Nwosu said.
Former national player, Adokie Amiesimaka, said that CAF should not look at the commercialisation of hosting the tournament but should look at the health issues.
“Morocco has not said they cannot host the tournament but they are only considering the health of the nation and their inability to manage the crowd that will come.
“The fact is that any country that picks up the responsibility of hosting the competition may not deliver the quality we saw when South Africa hosted in 2013,” Amiesimaka said.
Former General Manager of 3SC of Ibadan, Mutiu Adepoju, described the decision by Morocco as justifiable considering that their stand was based on health issues.
“They have a good reason to opt out, if they say they may not be able to manage the situation, then CAF should understand their stand.
“CAF should consider shifting the competition because it is just a month to go and how many countries can be prepared with the little time available.
“The Ebola case is a serious issue and no country now will want to go through that stress of an outbreak,” Adepoju said.
Seyi Akinwunmi, Chairman, Lagos State Football Association (LSFA), said that any country that should consider hosting the mundial would first have to prove their ability to handle crisis resulting from health issues.
“The competition is too close for any country; however, any country that steps up to host the mundial should prove its capabilities.
“Above all, we want to see a well-organised event and not one hastily done by any country,” Akinwunmi said.
On Nigeria’s Super Eagles Vincent Enyeama, Ahmed Musa and Uzoenyi Ejike being listed as recipient of the 2014 Africa Players award, pundits said the players merited it.
The said that Enyeama had done well enough for his club and the country to be named as the 2014 Africa player.
They also said that Uzoenyi’s exploit at the 2014 Africa Cup for home-based players was exceptional.