16 October 2014 19:19
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has urged Africa Cup of Nations organisers not to ignore the Ebola crisis.
The spread of the Ebola virus in Africa has thrown the 2015 AFCON tournament into doubt, with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rejecting a request from host nation Morocco to postpone the competition.
Despite the Ebola outbreak, qualifiers for the tournament were held across Africa last weekend and on Wednesday.
However, Klopp – whose Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a double in a 2-0 win for Gabon over Burkina Faso last Saturday – believes football should be second in the minds of tournament officials given the current situation.
“I don’t know whether the players think about it [Ebola], but I think a lot about it,” Klopp said.
“I spoke a lot with Auba [Aubameyang] about it, tried to sensitise him of the problem as he was away with his national team.
“Young people are green they don’t think that much about such things.
“I don’t really understand how FIFA or whoever is responsible for that can assume that of all things the borders in Africa are safe enough that no Ebola-infected person can travel to another country. Even here [in Europe] we aren’t able to do that.
“If there is one country in Africa which has the feeling that it can’t host the Cup safely then this has to be the priority, not the Africa Cup.
“You have to take this seriously and can’t shut your eyes. There will be a lot people from all over Africa in Morocco to watch the games and only a few of them would have undergone the best medical checks.”