Morocco CHAN title defense will not be achieved. Algeria and Morocco cut diplomatic ties in August 2021
The competition reserved for players who participate in Africa’s domestic leagues will not witness the Morocco CHAN title defense. On Friday, the opening fixture saw hosts Algeria start the tournament with a 1-0 win over Libya. Aimen Mahious with the 57th-minute penalty.
The Moroccan Football Federation (FMRF) said on Thursday that it was withdrawing the team from the pan-African competition since there was no direct flight using Royal Air Maroc available between Morocco and Algeria.
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Tension within the two countries’ borders has been high since independence, starting with the 1963 Sand War over Morocco’s claim to territory in Algeria. The border spans nearly 2,000km.
Patrice Motsepe, President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) was speaking at the Rabat Airport in Morocco. With him was FIFA President Gianni Infantinoo. Motsepe said,
“We’ve got to look at our roles, look at our laws and it’s key (for) football in Africa people stop seeing us as having some rules we don’t adhere to and we change them all the time.
“We have to be professional, we’ve got to be ethical
“Everybody must comply with our rules and say to Africa and the world that we are serious about African football being amongst the best.”
On Sunday, Sudan was scheduled to face Morocco. What their withdrawal means for the competition’s structure and if the Atlas Lions will be penalized have not yet been determined.
Fixtures This Weekend
On Sunday Madagascar face Ghana at 10 pm.