Sean Jacobs on Morocco’s refusal to host the Cup of Nations

International Affairs Professor, Sean JacobsJacobs-06, recently published an article in The Guardian which commented on the reasons behind Morocco’s refusal to host the Cup of Nations.  The strenuous relationship between North and sub-Saharan Africa is highlighted in the article which points out how Morocco cited Ebola as one of the reasons for being unwilling to hold the cup in their territory.  This might be an overreaction as the virus is only in four of the 54 African countries. On the other side, even one Ebola case emerging in Morocco could deter tourism, an industry that accounts for 10% of GDP.  Further, Jacobs articulates the phenomena of migrants who pass through Morocco, usually headed from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe, who “regularly complain about harassment, violence and xenophobia”, which adds to an already difficult relationship that Morocco has with many countries located to the South.

The article notes the opportunities that arise from Morocco’s refusal to host the event.  Moroccan organizers are proposing to move the event to next summer which would give European players getting a break from an already demanding schedule, which the event interrupts, and could also increase viewership.

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