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By The Atlas Lions, Dec 12 2018 07:27PM

(BBC Sports) Morocco will not bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the country's sports minister said.


The North African nation had been tipped as a replacement for Cameroon, who were stripped of the hosting rights last month due to poor preparations.


"Morocco did not intend to run for the 2019 African Cup of Nations and will not do so," Minister of Youth and Sport Rachid Talbi Alami told AFP.


Interested parties have until 2200 GMT on Friday to make an official bid.


In June this year, Morocco failed with a fifth bid to host the World Cup - after losing out to a triple bid Canada, Mexico and the United States.


The following month, Morocco did step in to host the 2019 African Games - formerly known as the All Africa Games - after original hosts Equatorial Guinea withdrew due to financial concerns.


This was a twist on a story concerning the 2015 Nations Cup which Morocco had been due to host but which ended up being staged in Equatorial Guinea after the North Africans requested a postponement because of concerns over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.


Morocco - which had been widely tipped to step in to host next year's Nations Cup - has only ever hosted Africa's flagship football tournament once, back in 1988.


The 2019 finals will be the first to feature 24 teams, rather than 16, and be held in June/July, as opposed to its traditional January/February slot.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 10 2018 05:38PM

(BBC Sports) The Confederation of African Football's (Caf) executive committee will hold an extraordinary meeting on 9 January to choose new hosts for the 2019 Nations Cup.


Caf is looking for a new venue for the continental tournament after it stripped Cameroon of the hosting rights due to a lack of progress with preparations.


Countries have until 2200GMT on 14 December to submit official bids to host the 24-team tournament which begins in June next year.


Despite reports of interest from Morocco and Congo-Brazzaville no-one has made an official declaration of interest to host the event.


The South Africa Football Association (Safa) is planning a meeting with country's sports minister Tokozile Xasa on Tuesday in order to make a decision on making a bid.


Xasa has expressed an interest in South Africa hosting the event for a third time but admitted she needed more details from Safe before finalising the offer.


By The Atlas Lions, Dec 6 2018 02:23PM

December 6 – The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has pulled out of the bidding race for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, saying it “will not compete with another Arabic country.” Morocco and South Africa remain as favourites to host the continent’s flagship competition.


Last week Cameroon were stripped of the tournament’s hosting rights over delays in preparations. CAF president Ahmad Ahmad revealed that the confederation would strive to “determine a new organising country by the end of the year.”


Egypt, Morocco and South Africa soon stepped forwards as potential hosts for the 24-team event. Cameroon, who won the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations defeating Egypt 2-1 in the final, had been awarded the 16-team finals, but CAF then unilaterally increased the number of participants in July 2017 to 24 teams during a symposium held in Morocco.


EFA will however not bid to stage the tournament. “After an EFA meeting on Tuesday, we decided we will not make a bid for the next Afcon,” said EFA board member and spokesman Ahmed Megahed. “We will not compete with another Arabic country – this is an official decision.”


The decision leaves Morocco and South Africa, who have both confirmed an interest in hosting, as two remaining contenders in the bidding race. Egypt last hosted the tournament in 2006 when they won on home soil.


Earlier this year the Moroccans had stepped in to host the African Nations Championship, CHAN, after Kenya had been deemed unfit to host the tournament. Morocco, with their team of home-based players, won the tournament, which was largely considered a success. In June Morocco, however, lost out to the United States, Mexico and Canada for the 2026 World Cup hosting rights. It was the fourth time that the Moroccans had their World Cup dream thwarted.



By The Atlas Lions, Dec 5 2018 01:44PM

Algerian sports journalist Hafid Derradji has lambasted his country’s unreadiness to host sports events like the 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN).


By Morocco World News


Rabat – The beIN Sports journalist Hafid Derradji, said that Algeria’s silence is proof that Algeria is not ready to host sports events, including the World Cup and CAN, due to lack of infrastructure and lack of world-class venues.


Derradji made his remarks during a phone interview on Algerian sports television program “Al Hassad Al Ryadi.”


He added that he feels sorry for his country for not even being able to host a “chess competition,” emphasizing that Morocco is “scoring positive points” in terms of infrastructure.


On November 30, Derradji said: “We said it already. Cameroon will not host CAN 2019. Morocco will host it and no one else.”


In 2017, Derradji mocked the Algerian football federation, andhe speculated that the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) will announce Morocco as the official host of the CAN, replace Cameroon.


The journalist sarcastically added that “[t]he Algerian president of the football federation, Khierdine Zetchi, announced days ago that Algeria is ready to replace Cameroon…. Good morning.”


Some of the speculation about CAFwas proved true, as it announced its decision to strip Cameroon ofthe right to host the African tournament.


CAN, also called AFCON, will take place June 15 to July 13, 2019. CAF has now launched a new bidding process to appoint another host for the African tournament.


Both Morocco and South Africa might try to seize the opportunity to host the event s after Cameroon’s failure to retainhosting rights due to delays in completing projects and building venues for 2019 CAN.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 5 2018 01:42PM

By Morocco World News


After CAF’s decision to strip the CAN hosting rights from Cameroon, several African countries will now submit their bid as a replacement host.


Rabat – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) might consider Morocco as an alternative host to Cameroon. The head coach of the national football team, Herve Renard, believes that Morocco is the right choice to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).


Renard believes that Morocco is ready in terms of infrastructure to host the African tournament. The coach expressed his hope for Morocco to be designated as host country for CAN 2019 “even if it will add extra pressure.”


Cameroon lost eligibility to host the competition after inspections of the country’s sports venues revealed that it was not ready to host the tournament. CAF will now start a new bidding process to appoint another host for the CAN, which will take place from June 15 to July 17.


While Morocco repeatedly supported Cameroon’s bid before CAF made its decision, the North African country might compete with South Africa and other countries to host it.


Morocco’s successful experience in hosting the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) might help Morocco clinch the rights to host CAF’s flagship tournament.


Morocco’s Atlas Lions will take part in the CAF competition after a well deserved qualification.


Fouzi Lekjaa, head of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) said that although the national team has had several exceptional generations of teams, Morocco has not been able to win the CAN since 1976.


He added that Morocco’s Atlas Lions and coach Herve Renard have received criticism. Lekjaa then called on critics to stop the “sterile criticism. We trust Herve Renard who has brought a lot to the Atlas Lions.” He also called for unity and support for both the coach and team.


Morocco’s football team has delivered several solid performances, especially at the 2018 World Cup in their games against Portugal and Spain.


In the 2019 CAN qualifiers, Morocco also received applause from their fans after they “broke the curse” and beat Cameroon 2-0.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 1 2018 09:13PM

(Goal.com) South African Football's mother body has explained to Goal why hosting the Afcon is difficult, but they might reconsider with incentives


The South Africa Football Association (Safa) has responded to reports that they could be in line to host the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.


On Friday, Caf confirmed its decision to strip Cameroon of hosting rights ahead of the showpiece event after it was deemed that they would not be ready in time for the event.


This immediately sent speculation into overdrive that Morocco, Egypt and South Africa could step in at the last minute to take over as hosts.


Nonetheless, Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi has spoken to Goal about the possibility of hosting the event.


“We also seen those reports and don’t forget that the Safa president is also an executive member of Caf,” Chimhavi told Goal on Saturday.


“But as things stand, our position is that we need liaise with the minister, we need to liaise with Caf themselves, because the short space of time, the bidding process is going to be changed.


“So, we want to find out what are the bidding processes,” he added.


While Chimhavi admits that South Africa are in an ideal position to host the Afcon, he has revealed that Safa’s financial woes may prove to be a stumbling block.


So, as things stand are we interested in hosting the Africa Cup of Nations 2019,?" Chimhavi quizzed.


“With our financial situation no,” an honest Chimhavi revealed.


“But if Caf comes up with certain incentives to say we are going to look after everything and we just provide the venue, I think we can host,” he said.


“Our financial situation doesn’t allow us to host. But we also have to talk to the government, so at the moment nothing has been decided as yet,” Safa’s spokesperson stated.


“We will see what Caf comes with and we will also liaise with government to see if they are interested in bankrolling this project. But you know in recent times the government has been saying, we need to exercise the tightening of the belt,” he continued.


“We have the capacity. South Africa is the only country that can host the event tomorrow. We have the capacity to host a 24-team Africa Cup of Nations, but as I say, the financial unfitness might put to bed any attempt because we don’t have the money,” he concluded.

By The Atlas Lions, Nov 30 2018 06:47PM

Cameroon has been stripped of the right to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after serious delays with its preparations and in the midst of a violent separatist rebellion near two of the planned venues.


The country's status as hosts of AFCON has been in doubt for the last few months since the decision was made to increase the tournament from 16 to 24 teams.


The Confederation of African Football will now give a one month window to countries interested in hosting the tournament and official bids will be submitted and considered.


Morocco, who were unsuccessful in their bid for the 2026 Fifa World Cup, are most likely to replace Cameroon as hosts. South Africa, hosts of the 2010 World Cup, could also be a viable option for CAF.


CAF said in September that there was a 'significant delay' with the building of stadiums and related infrastructure but gave Cameroon a final chance by planning two more inspection visits in October.


One of those was to assess the security situation after an escalation in violence in the southwest and northwest of the country involving English-speaking separatists and government forces.


And the decision was taken in an extraodrinary meeting on Friday afternoon where CAF president Ahmed Ahmed faced the media to explain why the decision has been taken to put the tournament back on the market for official bids.


This will be the second time in recent memory that CAF has stripped a country of hosting rights of a continental tournament.


Kenya was declared unfit to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championships in January this year with Morocco stepping in as the replacement host.



By The Atlas Lions, Nov 28 2018 04:17PM

By Soka25east.com


The North African Football Union (UNAF) wants the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to move the hosting of the 2019 African Cup of Nations from Cameroon to Morocco.


UNAF says Cameroon seems more than likely to withdraw, and the union is placing pressure on CAF to make sure that the first-ever, 24-team tournament is not held under difficult conditions or in half-finished stadiums. As a meeting of the CAF Executive Committee nears, where crucial decisions are expected, the region’s football union supports the “rescue mission” envisaged by Morocco.


According to Algerian papers, the Kingdom of Morocco wants to come to the rescue for the second time after the African Nations Championship was withdrawn from Kenya in 2018, and they can count on “the support of Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and especially Algeria”.


Last week, Algerian media, including the daily Le Buteur, already wrote that the tournament will be held in Morocco, not in Cameroon, the country chosen by CAF to host next year.


“According to information in our possession, the AFCON 2019 will take place next June on Moroccan soil and not in Cameroon, because of the great delays in the construction and renovation of infrastructure,” reports Le Buteur in its Wednesday’s edition.


CAF’s President Ahmad had reportedly raised the possibility of holding the 2019 tournament in another country, if Cameroon is not able to finish the preparatory work in time.

By The Atlas Lions, Nov 17 2018 03:10PM

(AFP) Morocco qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday when Group B rivals Malawi lost 2-1 away to out-of-contention Comoros.


They are the sixth country after hosts Cameroon, Senegal, Madagascar, Egypt and Tunisia to secure a place at the finals, which will feature 24 teams for the first time.


The Comoran victory in Mitsamiouli in the Indian Ocean island state gave Morocco an unassailable six-point advantage over Malawi with only one matchday left.


El Fardou Mohamed Ben Nabouhane, who has been playing for Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League, gave the Comoros a second-minute lead.


Patrick Phiri equalised after 53 minutes and Nasser Chamed scored the match-winner in the 70th minute on an artificial pitch.


Leaders Morocco and second-place Cameroon qualify from the group with the latter assured of a place because they are hosting the June 15-July 13 tournament.


Cameroon are involved in the qualifying competition to gain match practice before defending a title they won in Gabon last year by defeating Egypt 2-1 in the final.


Morocco climbed above Cameroon into first place in Group B Friday after beating them 2-0 in Casablanca through a second-half brace from Hakim Ziyech.


The Ajax Amsterdam midfielder broke the deadlock by converting a 54th-minute penalty and doubled the Atlas Lions' lead 12 minutes later.


Although consistently among the strongest African national teams, Morocco have won the Cup of Nations only once, in 1976 in Ethiopia when the tournament was a series of mini-leagues.

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