Guinea cleared: Ebola-free Guinea given green light

Fungai Muderere
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has cleared Guinea to stage international matches again after being declared free of the Ebola virus.

“CAF has learned with joy and relief the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 29 December 2015, officially confirming that Guinea is now declared Ebola free. CAF thereby confirms lifting the ban on the organisation of continental matches in Guinea, and for all competitions organised by CAF,” stated CAF general secretary Hicham El Amrani.

Fellow Ebola-hit Liberia and Sierra Leone were cleared in May and December last year respectively.

Zimbabwe’s senior national team will travel to Guinea for the return leg of the Group L 2017 AFCON qualifier later this year.

In the first leg encounter that was played in September last year, the Warriors missed a golden opportunity to seize the initiative in Group L when they were held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Guinea .

The result saw Zimbabwe go level with Swaziland on four points after two games while Guinea and Malawi have a point each.

Goalkeeper Washington Arubi’s blunder handed the visitors an early lead, and although Knowledge Musona equalised 24 minutes into the game, the Warriors just could not find the winning goal.

Zimbabwe had gone into the match desperate for a win which would have given them the upper hand in Group L. Guinea for their part were also determined to avoid another slip-up after a surprise 2-1 loss at home to Swaziland in the opening round.

Meanwhile, CAF has named referees selected to officiate the 2016 African Nation Championship  (Chan) due in Rwanda from January 16 to February 7.

The appointed referees are expected to undergo a fitness test on January 13, 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Interestingly, a number of Chan participants will have some of their fellow countrymen officiating at the Chan tournament but there was no match official from Zimbabwe that was appointed to handle matches at the contest.

Hosts Rwanda are  in Group A with Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire and Gabon.  Group B has DR Congo, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Angola.  Group C is composed of Tunisia, Niger, Guinea and Nigeria while Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and Mali make up Group D.

Matches for the tournament will be held in four cities namely Remera, Nyamirambo, Huye and Rubavu.

Abdi Charef Medhi (Algeria), Bernard Camille (Seychelles), Denis Dembele (Cote d’Ivoire), Ibrahim Nour El Din (Egypt), Daniel Bennet (South Africa), Kordi Med Said (Tunisia), Mohamed El Fadil (Sudan), Nampiandrza Hamada (Madagascar), Keita Mahamadou (Mali), Ali Lemghaifry (Mauritania), Malang Diedhiou (Senegal), Zio Ephrem Juste (Burkina Faso), Davies Omweno (Kenya), Hudu Munyemana (Rwanda), Joeph Lamtey (Ghana) and Thierry Nkurunziza (Burundi).

Assistant Referees
Mokrane Gourari (Algeria), Ndagijimana Theogene (Rwanda), Mark Ssonko (Uganda), Oamogetse Godisamang (Botswana), Noupue Nouegoue Elvis (Cameroon), Dina Bienvenu (Benin), Serigne Cheikh Toure (Senegal), Ahmed Hossam Taha (Egypt), Tesfagiorghis Berha (Eritrea), David Laryea (Ghana), Mamdy Tere (Guinea), Sullaymane Sosseh (Gambia), Marwa Range (Kenya), Mahamadou Yahaya (Niger),Hensley Petrousse (Seychelles), Khumalo Steven (South Africa),Theophile Vinga (Gabon) and Nabina Blaise Sebutu (DR Congo).