The ongoing tensions between Morocco and Algeria has spilled into football. Morocco has officially withdrawn from the African Nations Championship (CHAN) after being refused a direct flight by host nation Algeria.
This was expected as the diplomatic ties between the north African neighbors were severed by Algeria in 2021, as all direct flights between the two countries are suspended.
The Moroccan Football Federation announced in December 2022 that they would not attend unless they could fly directly from Rabat, aboard the team’s official airline, Royal Air Maroc.
The competition begins on Friday with a match between Algeria and Libya. The tournament is an international event for players who play in African leagues only. Morocco has won the tournament twice in 2018 and 2020.