Rabat - Morocco’s candidacy to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) has officially been submitted, according to a press release issued by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) on Saturday.
Rabat – Morocco’s candidacy to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) has officially been submitted, according to a press release issued by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) on Saturday.
Speculations surfaced a few days earlier indicating that Morocco was preparing to submit its candidacy to host the tournament which is due to be held in early 2018.
The announcement came after Kenya lost eligibility to host the competition on September 23. Kenya was stripped of the right to the 2018 CHAN following a Confederation of African Football (CAF) meeting held in Accra last week.
FRMF’s statement said that the decision to bid for next year’s tournament is in line with the Morocco’s “policy of openness to African countries”.
“Through this candidacy to host CHAN 2018, Morocco puts at the disposal of CAF all the experiences it has accumulated in recent years to guarantee the success of the this continental event”.
Morocco is one of the major African countries with a good sports infrastructure. In 2013 and 2014 Morocco hosted the FIFA Club World Cup.
The release also promised to well accommodate participating delegations and provide the necessary conditions for African teams “to compete and shine”.
The African football confederation had opened a bidding process for a new host on Sept. 30.
CAF had previously declared that the deadline for receipt of applications is seven days from Sunday, September 24.
South Africa is also expected to the 2018 CHAN amid speculations that CAF could take the competition to one of those two countries.
In recent months Morocco has become an influent CAF member. The kingdom benefits from the trust of CAF chief Ahmad Ahmad.
In July Morocco hosted the first African football symposium in Skhirat. Key decisions were made during the two days gathering, including moving the number of competing teams in the Africa Cup of Nations from 16 to 24. The biggest African tournament will also be scheduled in the Summer from June to July instead of January to February.
In September CAF declared that it fully backs Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup. Morocco is seen as a representative of Africa as it faces an enormous challenge of beating the joint bid of Mexico-USA-Canada.