Morocco has replaced Kenya as hosts of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Sunday.
The Emergency Committee of the body chaired by its president, Ahmad Ahmad, met on Saturday in Lagos, Nigeria, and unanimously decided to grant the organization of the fifth edition of the football competition to the Royal Moroccan Football Federation.
The cities of Casablanca, Agadir, Marakech and Tangier have been selected to host the biannual tournament. The tournament will bring together 16 national teams consisting exclusively of players playing in the national championships of their respective countries. CHAN 2018 is set for 12 January to 4 February.
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.
The candidacy of Morocco was preferred to that of Equatorial Guinea, another country that had submitted a valid application.
The Ethiopian Football Federation which had also expressed its willingness to host the tournament did not provide the government’s letter of guarantee, which is a mandatory document required as per CAF’s rules of application.
Morocco has not hosted a senior continental competition since the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations. It was due to stage the Nations Cup in 2015, but lost the hosting rights, after expressing fears over the spread of the Ebola virus.