Morocco to stage 2018 African Nations Championship

Country replaces Kenya as host of biennial continental soccer tournament.

Morocco to stage 2018 African Nations Championship

The Confederation of African Football (CAF), the governing body for soccer in Africa, has chosen Morocco to replace Kenya as the host of next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN 2018), a biennial international tournament exclusively featuring players from the continent’s respective national championships.

The CAF voted unanimously to award the hosting rights to the North African country - which is also bidding to stage the 2026 Fifa World Cup - ahead of Equatorial Guinea. Ethiopia also put forward a bid to stage the 16-team competition, but was not considered after failing to secure the necessary backing from the country’s government.

The announcement represents a swift resolution for the CAF, just one month after it confirmed it would be stripping Kenya of the tournament ‘in light of accumulated delays from reports of the various inspection missions conducted in the country.’ The decision to move the event was made at an emergency executive committee meeting in Lagos, Nigeria.

The move also benefits Egypt, who will make their first appearance at the tournament after being awarded Morocco’s place, which was freed up by the nation’s new role as hosts. Morocco had previously knocked their fellow North Africans out of contention in qualifying. 

The 2018 African Nations Championship will be the fifth edition of the tournament, and gets underway on 12th January 2018, with the final due to take place on 4th February.