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CHAN 2018: Morocco could lose key players, CAF to assess eligibility rules

CHAN 2018: Morocco could lose key players, CAF to assess eligibility rules


The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that it will review the eligibility of players who undergo transfers during the African Nations Championship (CHAN) ahead of the next competition.

According to the current rules, only players who are ‘citizens of a country’ and ‘have a permanent contract with a registered club affiliated to the national association’ are eligible to participate in CHAN.

“The issue will be addressed before the kick-off of the next CHAN qualifiers,” CAF Communications Director Junior Binyam told BBC.

The last three CHANs have been held in the months of January and February, consequently putting teams at risk of losing players during January’s transfer window.

A player is ineligible to play at the CHAN after joining a foreign club.

At this year’s finals, Morocco face the prospect of losing two key players,Achraf Bencharki and Jawad El Yamiq, if their transfers go through by the deadline of 31 January.

El Yamiq is set to move from Morocco’s Raja Casablanca to Genoa, while Bencharki, has agreed to leave African champions Wydad Casablanca for Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal Riyadh.

Morocco plays Libya on Wednesday, the day of the transfer deadline and if it goes through to the final of the tournament, the two players will be ineligible to play if their transfers were successful.

Earlier in this year’s CHAN, Guinea launched an appeal over the eligibility of Sudan’s Elsmani Elsawi Saadeldin, who they claimed had signed for Libyan club Al Ittihad Tripoli in December.

CAF ruled that Saadeldin was eligible as he was still with his Sudanese club Al Merreikh at the time.

CAF might consider setting a date prior to the start of a tournament for all players to be based in their homeland, such that any transfers made during the tournament do not affect the participating players.

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