Thursday, 10 May 2018

NFF may cancel Super Eagles friendly with DR Congo as latest Ebola outbreak in the country kills 17

The Nigeria football federation (NFF) may cancel already scheduled international friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo following a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the central African country.

The Eagles are expected to face DR Congo on May 28 as part of their preparation ahead of the incoming 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Nigerian sports newspaper Sporting Life reports that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have alerted medical personnel in The Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja of the need to conduct Ebola test on the Congolese contingent at the Immigration area of the International Airport in Port Harcourt.

The report also states that the NFF have contacted FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) about the possibilities of cancelling the friendly game.

The latest Ebola outbreak in the country has so far killed 17 people with more cases being reported.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has made $1 million (842,000 euros) available to stop the virus from spreading to other provinces and countries, a representative of the UN’s humanitarian affairs agency OCHA told reporters.

The Nigerian government on Wednesday said it was acting to prevent the spread of Ebola from the vast central African country.

The federal government had put in place an emergency programme to monitor all border activity to keep Nigerians safe, Health Minister Isaac Adewole said after a cabinet meeting.

Nigeria, which does not share a border with DR Congo, is the only country in West Africa with a mobile laboratory for haemorrhagic fevers.

DR Congo authorities on Tuesday described the Ebola outbreak as a “public health emergency with international impact”.

It is the country’s ninth known outbreak of Ebola since 1976 when the deadly viral disease was first identified in then Zaire by a Belgian-led team.

Speaking on the outbreak, Nigeria Immigration Service spokesperson Sunday James told BBC that immigration officials would tighten vigilance at airports and make more use of thermometers to screen passengers. He said:“We are sending a signal to all entry points in the country. The intention is to ensure that any suspected case can be promptly handed over to health officials at the airports. This is a matter which everybody must be concerned about. All hands must be on deck,”

The deadly Ebola disease also spread to Nigeria when Patrick Sawyer, who was infected with the virus, flew into the country from Liberia.

Eight people died, including Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevo, who first attended to Mr Sawyer and helped to ensure a more devastating outbreak was avoided in Nigeria.

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