Sierra Leone cancels all football matches over Ebola virus fears

Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koromah (second from left) attends a summit against the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa on Aug. 1, 2014.


FREETOWN, Sierra Leone -- Sierra Leone has canceled all football matches because of the deadly Ebola virus and will seek to play African Cup qualifiers in other countries.

The Sierra Leone Football Association announced the move on Tuesday after an emergency meeting. It follows a public health emergency declared last week by the country's president banning public gatherings.

Ebola has spread rapidly in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, killing nearly 900 people. Cases have also been reported in Nigeria.

Sierra Leone's national team is due to play in the final round of qualifying for next year's African Cup from Sept. 5.

SLFA spokesman Abu Bakarr Kamara told The Associated Press that Sierra Leone would ask the Confederation of African Football for permission to play home games in neutral venues.

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