Fifa Club World Cup to go head despite Ebola fears
FIFA supremo Jerome Valcke has distanced the world football governing body from the 2015 African Cup of Nations fiasco.
Morocco were withdrawn as hosts by the African Football Confederation (CAF) after their plea to postpone the finals because of Ebola fears were rejected. Valcke, who is the general secretary of Fifa, said the 2014 Fifa Club World Cup, which is to be hosted in Morocco next month, will go ahead as planned.
He said the decision to withdraw Morocco as Afcon hosts will not have an impact on the Club World Cup as the two tournaments are different.
“There was never a discussion between Fifa and the authorities of Morocco about cancelling the Fifa Club World Cup. The scale of the event is different. We are looking at an event which is played in two cities – Habat and Marrakesh,” said Valcke, who added that Fifa did discuss with Morocco’s local organising committee about the issue of Ebola and their fears were allayed.
Valcke, who was in Pretoria yesterday attending a 2010 World Cup Legacy Trust board meeting, says Fifa will give the custodians of African football all the support.
“It’s an issue of Caf. It’s not with Fifa. I could answer a question if they were to withdraw from the Fifa Club World Cup and that’s not the case so for us for the time being. I hope Afcon will be played in the days which are on the international calendar. We are supporting Caf to make sure they will succeed in finding the new hosts,” said Valcke at the High Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria.
Valcke said investigations into the match-fixing scandal that involved Bafana Bafana ahead of the 2010 World Cup are about to be concluded.
Meanwhile, work would begin on a R100-million national technical centre, in part funded by the 2010 World Cup Legacy Trust, SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan said. “The trust agreed we must have a national technical centre for Safa with R100-million allocated to the project,” Jordaan said in Pretoria. He did not disclose where exactly the centre would be built, but did confirm it would be in Gauteng.
“It must be an icon centre of the 2010 World Cup and it will be unveiled next year.”
The Legacy Trust was established, together with Safa, after the showpiece event South Africa hosted four years ago. The aim was to aid grassroots development in the country. A total of R450-million had been invested in the trust since the 2010 event, of which R82-million had been disbursed so far for a variety of development projects.