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Moroccan officials insist they won’t defend their CHAN title

In order to defend the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria, the Moroccan Football Federation (FMRF) has threatened to pull out unless they are given permission to travel directly from Rabat, the nation’s capital.

The FMRF insists the Atlas Lions, who made history at Qatar 2022 by becoming the first African nation to reach a World Cup semi-final, will only participate if they are allowed to fly from Rabat to Constantine, where their group stage games will be played. Direct flights between the two north African neighbors were canceled in 2021 amid tensions between the two nations.

Only players from African domestic leagues are allowed in the event, and on Tuesday, the draw was made. Morocco was placed in Group C with Madagascar, Sudan, and Ghana, who had previously eliminated Nigeria.

The FMRF’s president, Fouzi Lekjaa, presided over an executive board meeting on Tuesday night when the ultimatum was issued with the additional requirement that the squad use Royal Air Maroc.

Morocco became the first country to win back-to-back CHAN championships in 2021 after defeating Mali in the postponed event in Cameroon.

Algeria will play Libya in Group A’s opening encounter of the seventh iteration of CHAN on January 13, with Morocco taking on Sudan two days later.


Group A: Algeria, Libya, Ethiopia, Mozambique.

Group B: DR Congo, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Senegal.

Group C: Morocco, Sudan, Madagascar, Ghana.

Group D: Mali, Angola, Mauritania.

Group E: Cameroon, Congo, Niger.

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