" Football is a unique unifying force of our continent and the world. We look forward to once again, coming together and celebrating Africa together in the exhilarating 2015 AFCON tournament in Equatorial Guinea, said Dlamini-Zuma."
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Nov 15 - The African Union (AU) has commended Equatorial Guinea for agreeing to host the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in January.

The Pan-African bloc asked all the continental nations for their support for staging a successful tournament, reports Xinhua.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the AU Commission, commended the government of Equatorial Guinea for its strong show of African solidarity demonstrated by the acceptance to host the 2015 AFCON tournament in January 2015, AU said in a statement Friday.

CAF (Confederation of African Football) president Issa Hayatou made the announcement Friday following a meeting with Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

The original hosts of the 2015 AFCON, Morocco, had requested CAF to postpone the competition amidst fears of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), said the statement.

The Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone should not paralyse continental programmes and events. Like many other challenges the continent has faced in the past, the Ebola outbreak is being surmounted and is by no means a reason to stall the African Cup of Nations, said Dlamini-Zuma after the announcement of Equatorial Guinea to host the much awaited continental and global event.

AU and CAF share common Pan-African values and are deeply aware that the common well being and prosperity of the continent is paramount, noted the statement.

Meeting with the chairperson of the AU Commission in September in Ethiopia's capital here, the CAF executive committee, led by its president Issa Hayatou, expressed strong support to contribute to the fight against the EVD, recalled the statement.

However, Africa cannot afford to be swayed by each and every challenge the continent faces and is at a point where it faces new and old challenges, like the Ebola crisis, the threat of terrorism and conflicts, said the statement.

Football is a unique unifying force of our continent and the world. We look forward to once again, coming together and celebrating Africa together in the exhilarating 2015 AFCON tournament in Equatorial Guinea, said Dlamini-Zuma.

We should remember that we have fought and defeated many tragedies including HIV/AIDS whose spread has been significantly halted. We will defeat Ebola, reassured Dlamini-Zuma.


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