Malawi said it had cancelled a friendly match against Uganda on recommendation from health authorities following the escalation of the Ebola disease in that country.
Suzgo Nyirenda, secretary general of the Football Association of Malawi (FAM), said the Ministry of Health recommended that the game was cancelled and advised them “to identify another team which at the moment is not a health risk to our nation”.
Wednesday’s friendly was Malawi’s preparatory game for the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 qualifiers with Ghana in Accra on September 7.
Nyirenda described the cancellation as a “big blow” to the national team’s preparations.
He said Malawi was likely to meet Ghana without having played a friendly due to insufficient time to prepare for a match with another country.
Ghana are due to play China away in a friendly on Wednesday.
Ugandan health officials said on Monday that a recent outbreak of the deadly virus, which has killed 16 people since it emerged in early July in the country’s western Kibale district, was “under control”.
But it was yet to be fully eradicated, assistant commissioner at the Ugandan health ministry, Paul Kagwa, told AFP.