African Nations Championship (CHAN), organizers announced on Sunday that Morocco will replace Kenya as hosts of the 2018.The Confederation of African Football (Caf) collectively decided to give Morocco the tournament ahead of Equatorial Guinea. The cities of Casablanca, Agadir, Marakech and Tangier have been selected to host the biannual tournament.
They replace Kenya, who had their rights to host withdrawn by Caf due to a lack of preparation. Kenya was stripped of the hosting rights after failing to provide facilities vital for the competition, notably the stadia as promised in the beginning of the year and despite having numerous chances to make things right, there was no political will to make the competition a success and most of the process went dragged on The tournament for locally-based players is programmed to take place in January and February 2018.The decision to move the competition was made at an emergency Caf executive committee meeting in Lagos, Nigeria.
Third candidates, Ethiopia, were not regarded, after not providing a letter of guarantee from the country’s government. The awarding of the tournament to Morocco also benefits Egypt, who were awarded Morocco’s place – now freed up as hosts – after being originally knocked out by their fellow North Africans in qualifying.
It will be Egypt’s first appearance in the competition. Kenya’s preparations were deemed inapt for the biennial 16-team tournament – which runs from 12 January to 4 February 2018 – leading them to be stripped of the hosting rights last month.
Morocco has not hosted a senior continental competition since the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations. They were due to stage the Nations Cup in 2015, but lost the hosting rights, after expressing fears over the spread of the Ebola virus. This led to Equatorial Guinea successfully replacing Morocco at short notice, having co-hosted the Cup of Nations with Gabon three years earlier.