Caf picks Morocco to replace Kenya as Chan hosts


Madagascan Ahmad Ahmad was elected CAF President on March 16 2017, ending Issa Hayatou's 29-year rein. (PHOTO/...
Madagascan Ahmad Ahmad was elected CAF President on March 16 2017, ending Issa Hayatou's 29-year rein. (PHOTO/COURTESY)

Morocco has been awarded the hosting rights of the 2018 African Nation Championship (Chan), replacing the previous designated host, Kenya.

The three week football bonanza will run from January 12 – February 4, 2018 and will be played in four venues in the North African country.

The decision to award Morocco the rights were made by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Saturday after an executive committee meeting held in Lagos, Nigeria.

In its meeting, the executive committee rubberstamped its decision to hand Morocco the second-tier football competition while also affirming its earlier decision to strip Kenya of the rights.

Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection team Mohamed Khaled El Shawardy (L) and Magd Abdel Razek and construction project director Chadress Patel are taken around Nyayo stadium by FKF President Nick Mwendwa during their 3rd officials inspection visit of the facility on September 12, 2017. Kenya is preparing to host CHAN 2018 championship. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection team Mohamed Khaled El Shawardy (L) and Magd Abdel Razek and construction project director Chadress Patel are taken around Nyayo stadium by FKF President Nick Mwendwa during their 3rd officials inspection visit of the facility on September 12, 2017. Kenya is preparing to host CHAN 2018 championship. Photo/Sportpicha.

Kenya won the bid to host the competition in 2014 but sluggish work on the earmarked venues made Caf strip the country of the rights after numerous inspection tours gave  “a not ready” verdict.

For Morocco, the nod to host the competition is a thumb of approval following a Caf ban three years ago after it declined to host the African Cup of Nations finals citing Ebola fears.

Morocco have not hosted a senior CAF competition since the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations. Equatorial Guinea successfully replaced them at short notice, having co-hosted the Cup of Nations with Gabon three years earlier.

Chan is restricted to home-based footballers, giving them international exposure otherwise largely denied because most African national squads are packed with professionals playing in Europe.

Equatorial Guinea and Ethiopia had also showed interest in hosting the competition.

Additional reporting by AFP

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