Morocco will finally take part in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) football in Algeria, after announcing earlier Thursday the cancellation of its participation due to the closure of Algerian airspace to Moroccan planes, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"The Moroccan national team will travel tomorrow to Algeria to participate in CHAN._ The departure will be from Salé airport," the ministry said.
Thursday morning, the Moroccan Federation (FRMF) announced the cancellation of its team's participation in CHAN because "the final authorization of its Royal Air Maroc (RAM) flight, the official carrier of the Moroccan football teams, from Rabat to Constantine has not been confirmed" by Algeria, the host country of the competition.
Questioned in the evening, the FRMF said "still waiting for a flight authorization".
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According to Mohamed Makrouf, adviser to the president of the Moroccan federation, Fouzi Lekjaa: _"We have not received anything at the moment. The players are training and we will go as soon as our flight is authorized._ We are waiting for this authorization from CAF (African Football Confederation) which must receive it from the Algerian authorities".
The CAF had informed the FRMF on December 22 that "an authorization in principle had been obtained", according to the press release.
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.
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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 the context of permanent tensions between the two enemy brothers.
The Atlas Lions - one of the powers of African football - have won the last two CHANs, in 2021 and 2018.
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