Seychelles forfeited an African Cup qualifying game and withdrew from the competition Thursday rather than allow Sierra Leone's soccer team to travel to the Indian Ocean island because of fears over the deadly Ebola virus.
The Confederation of African Football confirmed Seychelles' withdrawal in a statement without giving a reason. But Sierra Leone players and officials were earlier barred from boarding a plane in Nairobi, Kenya, that was to take them to the Seychelles capital of Victoria for Saturday's game.
Airport authorities in Kenya said they were instructed by Seychelles immigration to prevent the Sierra Leone party from traveling.
More than 700 people have died in West Africa from Ebola, with the worst recorded outbreak in history centered in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. One person has also died in Nigeria. The disease has no vaccine and a 60 percent fatality rate.
The Seychelles Football Federation couldn't immediately be reached for comment. The BBC reported that the group was following government orders.
"We have taken the decision because of the advice sent to us by the Seychelles Ministry of Health," Seychelles federation President Elvis Chetty said, according to the BBC. "We also received a letter from the Ministry of Immigration saying it would not allow the Sierra Leone team to enter our jurisdiction."
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