Curtain Raiser

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar January 13, 2018 04:42

Curtain Raiser

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (January 12th 2018)

The 5th CHAN begins tomorrow in Casablanca after a venue change caused by political turmoil in Kenya – the original choice of host. Equatorial Guinea – they only do well when they host – lost out to Morocco, which aims to become the second African country to host the World Cup. CAF President Ahmad Ahmad pledged his personal support for Morocco’s bid. CAF is likely to endorse Morocco’s quet at its meeting on February 2nd.

President Ahmad stressed that the CHAN tournament offered a chance for Africa based players to shine and earn professional contracts – Mauritania, Morocco’s first opponent in Group A doesn’t even have a professional league.
“[There were] many adventures around this edition” he explained. “I am very happy that we created this competition. It is an inheritance. To see the number of competitors makes you want to live it”.

He explained the circumstances that resulted in Morocco stepping in at the last minute. “Due to the electoral crisis in Kenya we did not want to take risks so it was decided to change country after a call for applications. Two countries were candidates, Morocco and Equatorial Guinea. After a sustained analysis by our technical team we entrusted the competition to Morocco”.

Morocco was the unanimous choice of CAF’s Executive Committee. “We can only rejoice in the quality of the infrastructure, the organisation to the entire team that has mobilized around three months for the success of the tournament”, President Ahmad said. “Everything is ready; we are waiting for the start tomorrow. I wish to sincerely thank His Majesty for having facilitated in such a short time the setting up of this competition. It gives us hope that Africa is mobilised around football. CAF alone will not be able to develop football. We have 500 accreditations with 23 different nationalities”.

So what does he hope this tournament will achieve? “Our hope for this CHAN is to reorient all our decisions and evaluate our future competitions,” Ahmad said. “CHAN is an opportunity to increase the number of competitions and play our African players”.

It will take place in Marrakech, Agadir and tangier as well as Casablanca. According to Ahmad it will showcase African talent.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar January 13, 2018 04:42



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