Newcastle trio affected as Morocco will not host Africa Cup of Nations due to Ebola outbreak

AFFECTED ... Mehdi Abeid.
AFFECTED ... Mehdi Abeid.

MOROCCO will not host the Africa Cup of Nations, it has been announced, in a move that could affect three Newcastle United players.

The tournament, which is due to be held in January, was set to be hosted by Morocco before the country asked for the event to be postponed as a result of the Ebola outbreak.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has now confirmed Morocco will no longer host the tournament, while the country has also been expelled from the competition.

Newcastle trio Mehdi Abeid, Papiss Demba Cisse and Cheik Tiote could all be involved in the tournament.

Abeid’s Algeria have already qualified, but Cisse and Tiote, who represent Senegal and Ivory Coast respectively, remain locked in a battle to make it.

Senegal are second in their group with two qualifying matches remaining, and are just one point ahead of third-placed Egypt.

Egypt host Senegal in the next group game, on Saturday, while Senegal will complete their qualification campaign with a home match against Botswana four days later.

Ivory Coast, meanwhile, are third in their group, level on points with third-placed DR Congo.

The Ivorians will complete their group campaign with a trip to Sierra Leone on Saturday, followed with a match against Cameroon – who look set to qualify – four days later.

DR Congo, meanwhile, have to travel to Cameroon before a home fixture against Sierra Leone.

The best third-placed team in qualification will also be given a passage into the tournament, with Egypt currently top of that list, ahead of Ivory Coast.

It remains to be seen whether the top two third-placed teams will now be allowed to qualify with Morocco expelled.

A new venue for the tournament has not yet been announced.