“The Moroccan national team will travel tomorrow to Algeria to participate in CHAN“, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told AFP on Thursday evening. “Departure will be from Salé airport (near Rabat) from 9:00 a.m.” Friday, said the same source. Thursday morning, the Moroccan Federation (FRMF) announced the cancellation of the participation of its team in CHAN because “the final authorization for his Royal Air Maroc (RAM) flight, official carrier of the Moroccan football teams, from Rabat to Constantine has not been confirmedby Algeria, host country of the competition.
Questioned in the evening, the FRMF said “still waiting for flight clearance“.”We haven’t received anything yet. The players are training and we will go as soon as our flight is cleared“, explained to AFP Mohamed Makrouf, adviser to the president of the Moroccan federation, Fouzi Lekjaa.We are awaiting this authorization from the CAF (African Football Confederation) which must receive it from the Algerian authorities.“, added Mr. Makrouf. CAF had informed the FRMF on December 22 that “an authorization in principle had been obtained“, according to the press release.
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It was not possible to obtain confirmation from the Algerian authorities. The diplomatic source did not want to say if the Moroccan team would board a direct flight to reach Algeria. The CHAN, reserved for players competing in the national championships, will be held from January 13 to February 4 in Algeria. Algiers closed its airspace on September 22, 2021 to all Moroccan civil and military aircraft after breaking diplomatic relations with Rabat.
This serious crisis is fueled by the thorny issue of Western Sahara, in a context of permanent tensions between the two enemy brothers. The Atlas Lions – one of the powerhouses of African football – have won the last two CHANs, in 2021 and 2018.
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