Diplomatic row with Algeria sees Morocco withdraw from CHAN

Diplomatic row with Algeria sees Morocco withdraw from CHAN
Morocco in action against Croatia at the 2022 World Cup

Algeria closed its airspace to Moroccan aircraft in 2021 after it unilaterally severed diplomatic ties with its North African neighbour.

Morocco will not take part in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) being held in Algeria after the Algerian government rejected its request for the team to fly there directly on Morocco's national airline, the Moroccan football federation said on Thursday.

Algeria closed its airspace to Moroccan aircraft in 2021 after it unilaterally severed diplomatic ties with its North African neighbour.

Morocco are the title holders of the tournament which is for players who still play in African countries. The tournament starts on Friday and finishes on Feb. 4.


Soccer authorities in Rabat had written to the Confederation of African Football to say Morocco would only take part if its team could take a direct flight to Algeria with Royal Air Maroc.

Morocco's senior national team last month became the first from an African country to reach the World Cup semi-finals, raising the global profile of Moroccan soccer.

Algeria and Morocco are at odds over a range of issues including the future of Western Sahara, a territory that Morocco regards as its own but where Algeria backs an armed independence movement.