The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have announced that Equatorial Guinea will host the 2015 African Nations Cup after Morocco was stripped off the event hosting right, having asked for it to be postponed over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus  .
Oil-rich Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, one of Africa’s smallest countries with a population of just over 600,000, hosted the 2012 finals with neighbours Gabon but will take on the 16-team tournament on its own from January 17 to February 8.
Morocco was on Tuesday stripped off the right to host the finals with the north African country also disqualified from taking part in the tournament after its request for a postponement was rejected by CAF.
The decision on the new hosts was made after a meeting in Malabo on Friday between Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang and CAF President Issa Hayatou.
“The head of state of Equatorial Guinea agreed to host the competition. As a result, the CAF executive committee confirm that the tournament will go ahead and Equatorial Guinea will compete as the host nation,” a statement from African soccer’s governing body said.
African football’s governing body also announced that Equatorial Guinea will play in the tournament – despite the team being disqualified in July for fielding an ineligible player in a preliminary qualifier against Mauritania on May 17.
Matches will be held at four venues in Bata, Ebebiyin, Mongomo and the capital Malabo. In 2012, the tournament was hosted in Malabo and Bata.
The draw for the finals will be in Malabo on December 3.