Defending African Nations Championship (CHAN) champions Morocco have pulled out participation from this year’s edition less than a month to the tournament due to fears of the emerged Corona virus (COVID-19).
Sources in the North African country have confirmed that the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) have since comunicated to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) their decision to withdraw their appearance at the tournament to scheduled to kick-off on 4th April, 2020 in Cameroon where two cases of the pandemic have been confirmed.
Meanwhile, CAF on Wednesday announced the CHAN and all other competitions will go on as scheduled after the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed no country on the continent is currently at high risk.
“CAF wishes to inform Member Associations and the entire African football family that we are closely monitoring the evolution of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world and in particular the African continent. According to World Health Organization (WHO), no African country till date has been declared a high risk.” CAF said in an official statement released on their website.
“Consequently, CAF has decided to maintain the schedule of all competitions. Also, CAF has been informed of the restrictive measures taken by the authorities of some Member Associations and is in contact to find solutions on a case-by-case basis, with the option of the organization of matches behind closed doors.”
The statement continued : “Regarding the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cameroon 2020, a delegation from the CAF Medical Committee is scheduled to visit Cameroon from 14-15 March 2020. The purpose of this mission is to assess all the preventive measures taken by the Local Organizing Committee.”
Morocco are the defending champions of the competition that only allows players plying their trade in domestically, having won the last edition on homesoil in 2018.
The Atlas Lions qualified for this year’s edition to run from 4th to 25th April and have been drawn in Group C alongside Uganda, Rwanda and Togo.