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07/31/2014 01:46 EDT | Updated 09/30/2014 05:59 EDT

Sierra Leone soccer team barred from travelling to Seychelles over fears of Ebola virus

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - The Sierra Leone soccer team has been banned from travelling to the Seychelles for an African Cup of Nations qualifier because of fears over the deadly Ebola virus.

Players and officials were barred from boarding a plane Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya, that would have taken them to the Seychelles capital of Victoria for Saturday's game.

The BBC reported that Seychelles immigration authorities decided not to allow the Sierra Leone party to travel to the Indian Ocean island because of Ebola. The virus has killed more than 700 people in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria.

The BBC also said Seychelles forfeited Saturday's game and a place in next year's African Cup as a result. The Seychelles Football Federation could not immediately be reached for comment.

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