October 16 – Morocco have been confirmed as replacement hosts of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), beating off competition from Equatorial Guinea and Ethiopia.
The decision was taken at the weekend by the emergency committee of the Confederation of African Football, chaired by CAF president Ahmad Ahmad, with Morocco as expected taking over from Kenya who were stripped of hosting rights last month because of delays over preparations and infrastructure.
A CAF inspection team visited Kenya in mid-September and found that only one of the four venues was ready to stage the event. It was the second time Kenya has lost the right to stage an African football competition after being replaced by South Africa as 1996 Africa Cup of Nations hosts.
CHAN, which takes place next January and February and is now in its fifth edition, is a competition that brings together 16 national teams made up of players who compete in the national championships of their respective countries. The candidacy of Morocco was preferred to that of Equatorial Guinea, which no doubt blotted its copy book having been kicked out of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France for fielding ineligible Brazilian-born players during qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.
The Ethiopian Football Federation, which had also expressed its willingness to host CHAN, did not provide the pre-requisite government letter of guarantee.
With Morocco now getting an automatic slot, Egypt, who were eliminated in the qualifiers, will take the extra available slot.
Morocco have not hosted a senior continental competition since the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations. They were due to stage the Nations Cup again in 2015 but were stripped of hosting rights after expressing fears over the spread of the Ebola virus.
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