It is now official. The Moroccan football team will not be at the next African Nations Championship (CHAN), scheduled for Algeria. Reason given: a disagreement related to the transport of the Atlas Lions.
In a press release published on Tuesday, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced the non-participation of the national football team in the 7th edition of CHAN. The competition reserved for players playing on the continent will take place from January 13 to February 4. Morocco was to be represented by the national under-23 team.
To justify this package, the Moroccan football authority mentioned a logistical point related to the transport of the Atlas Lions. The sports authorities have indeed demanded that the national team travel to Constantine, the host city of Morocco’s matches, via a direct flight from Rabat on board a Royal Air Maroc (RAM) plane, the official carrier of the national teams.
This request was reportedly refused by the Algerian authorities, due to the diplomatic tensions that exist between the two countries. For several months, Algeria has closed its airspace in Morocco. As a result, Morocco, double defending champion, decided to boycott the competition.