Ebola: Nigeria allay Rwandan fears ahead of September’s 2015 Afcon qualifier

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the Rwandan Football Federation has asked Caf for advice about potentially changing the venue of their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with the Super Eagles next month with increasing concerns over Ebola outbreak in Nigeria.
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Three people have died in Lagos since an infected Liberian finance ministry official arrived the country last month. More than a hundred people have been quarantined as the government battles to keep the spread of the deadly virus in check.

Rwanda are scheduled to visit Calabar for their opening Group A match with the Super Eagles on September 6.

However, concerns have now been expressed by the country’s football administrators in a letter to Caf.

“We wrote a letter to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) for their advice on the situation in Nigeria,” Ferwafa head Vincent Nzamwita was quoted by the BBC.

“We’re waiting to see if they can change the game, it’s a big worry.”

However, the Nigeria Football Federation has said that Ferwafa’s fears are understandable but unnecessary.

Similar fears had been expressed by the Lesotho federation ahead of this weekend’s African Youth Championship qualifier with the Flying Eagles.

“[Rwanda] are not the first team to express fears. It is natural for teams coming to play in West Africa to express such fears but the important thing is how you respond to these things,” Ademola Olajire, the NFF’s spokesman told Goal.

“If such anxiety is expressed in a letter to us, we will definitely know how to respond to it. We had a similar concern from the delegation of Lesotho and we responded to them and they were satisfied. So we expect to have no trouble whatsoever with Rwanda.”

With the impending visit of group opponents South Africa and Sudan in October and November, Olajire stated that none of the two federations have been in touch about the Ebola virus outbreak.

“They have not [yet expressed fears],” he said.

At least three major sporting events have been postponed in Nigeria since the outbreak with the Federal Government having declared an emergency to fight the Ebola virus.

Caf has already banned Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia from hosting continental matches due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus that has killed more than 1000 people.

Both Guinea and Sierra Leone are still involved in the Afcon qualifiers, so they will not be able to play at home next month.

Sierra Leone have already asked the Ghana FA to host their match against DR Congo on September 10.

An official of the NFF who did not want to be named told Goal: “If there’s any request from Rwanda to Caf, Caf will treat it on its merit. We should not try to escalate something that is not in anyway a threat.”

Nigeria are bidding to defend their African title in Morocco next January.

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