President of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) Fouzi Lekjaa detailed Morocco’s conditions for its participation in the 2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN) set to be held in Algeria.
According to Morocco World News, Lekjaa demanded that the Atlas Lions home-based team be able to travel on a direct flight on Morocco’s flag carrier Royal Air Maroc from the capital Rabat to Constantine, the city that will host their matches.
Should that condition not be fulfilled, Morocco will not take part in the competition, he added during a meeting of the FRMF’s executive board.
Morocco are defending champions, and also hold the record for the most titles held along with DR Congo, with two titles each.
Morocco defeated Mali in the 2020 final, becoming the first nation to win back-to-back titles after their 2018 victory against Nigeria.
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Algeria cut relations with Morocco in 2021, citing attempts from its neighbor to destabilize the country and accusing Rabat of playing a part in the wildfires that engulfed Algeria that year.
Although Rabat continued to deny the allegations and attempted dialogue, the discussion has yet to take place and relations remain severed.
This strained relationship has been reflected in sporting events, when Algerian authorities infamously prevented an authorized Moroccan press crew from entering the country in 2022.
The press delegation was hoping to cover the Moroccan athletes’ performance at the competition.
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