Morocco has withdrawn from the defense of their African Nations Championship (CHAN) title this month after Algeria refused them a direct flight into the country.
Algeria broke diplomatic ties with its north African neighbours in 2021, effectively ending all direct flights between the two countries.
The Moroccan Football Federation (FMRF) stated in December that they would not participate unless they could fly directly from Rabat on the country’s main carrier, Royal Air Maroc (RAM).
The tournament, which the Atlas Lions won in 2018 and 2020, begins on Friday when Algeria hosts Libya. It is the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) international event for players who play in African divisions.
Morocco was supposed to begin their chase for a third straight crown on Sunday against Sudan, but FMRF said in a statement: “(We) were informed on December 22 by CAF that authorization in principle had been obtained. The obtaining of the final authorization has unfortunately not been confirmed by CAF.
“The FRMF has communicated the details of the flight plan and coordinates in order to obtain final authorisation for the RAM flight from Rabat and continued the preparation of the trip and the participation in CHAN.”
Morocco played two friendlies against Ethiopia this week at their training camp in Salé, preparatory for their journey to Constantine, where they were to stay for the tournament.
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