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Morocco was fined $1 million by the Confederation of African Football on Friday for failing to host the 2015 African Cup of Nations soccer tournament because of fears over Ebola.

Morocco was also banned from the next two tournaments in 2017 and 2019, and CAF said it was seeking around $9 million in damages from the North African nation for backing out of its hosting agreement.

Morocco was fined $1 million by the Confederation of African Football on Friday for failing to host the 2015 African Cup of Nations soccer tournament because of fears over Ebola.

Morocco was also banned from the next two tournaments in 2017 and 2019, and CAF said it was seeking around $9 million in damages from the North African nation for backing out of its hosting agreement.

The African football body said the decisions were made by its executive committee, which met in the Equatorial Guinea capital Malabo.

Morocco declined to stage the 16-team African championship on its scheduled dates of Jan. 17-Feb. 8, citing fears over the spread of Ebola from West Africa. It asked CAF for a delay. CAF refused and Equatorial Guinea ultimately stepped in at short notice late to host the three-week tournament, which ends on Sunday.

CAF said in Friday's statement announcing the sanctions that it considered Morocco's request that the tournament be delayed until October a "refusal" to host. CAF rejected Morocco's stance that it needed to postpone the tournament because of high health risks from fans traveling from Ebola-affected regions in West Africa.

The $9 million in damages it was demanding was "in compensation for all material damage sustained by CAF, stakeholders and partners as a result of the decision (by Morocco) not to host AFCON 2015," CAF said.

Source: AP - By GERALD IMRAY

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