The African Nations Championship (CHAN) begins this Friday, January 13, 2023 in Algeria. While Morocco, double defending champion is expected, the Moroccan football federation has announced that it was unable to travel to the host country because of diplomatic tensions between the two nations.
CHAN 2023 will surely take place without the defending champion. After their fabulous run during the 2022 World Cup, the Atlas Lions hoped to do it again against African teams. Unfortunately, the tensions between Morocco and Algeria make the participation of Walid Regragui’s formation very unlikely. Indeed, for a little over a year, theAlgeria has closed its airspace to Moroccan planes. Apart from a few political leaders, Moroccans cannot go directly to the country of the fennecs. In a press release, the Moroccan federation explained that the flight which is supposed to take the Moroccan players from Rabat to Constantine has still not been chartered, despite a authorization in principle from the Confederation of African Football a month ago.
Morocco will not be able to defend their title
“The FRMF notes with regret that the obtaining of the final authorization for the RAM flight from Rabat to Constantine has unfortunately still not been confirmed by CAF” explained the Moroccan leaders in this press release. Present in group D of the competition, Morocco must play its first match on Sunday January 15 against Sudan in the Mohamed Hamlaoui stadium. The Atlas Lions are also opposed to Madagascar and Ghana. Morocco is heading for a package. A disappointment for the team which won the last two editions of CHAN and which will not have the opportunity to defend its title. Whatever happens, Walid Regragui would not have sent his best players but rather the substitutes to offer playing time in selection to certain players, in a competition which is disputed every two years, between the CAN and reserved for players. who play in the national championships.