During the African Nations Championship (CHAN-2021), open Saturday in Cameroon, local Moroccan players will have the delicate mission of defending their title won in 2018 at home.
Evolving in Group C, the Botolists will make their entry into contention on Monday January 18 against Togo, before facing Rwanda on the 22nd, then Uganda on the 26th.
For this start, the locals will be deprived of attackers Abdelilah El Hafidi and Adam Nafati, who should, according to national coach Lhoussine Ammouta, be ready for the second day against Rwanda.
In statements preceding the entry into play of his foals, Ammouta assured that “the objective during the participation in CHAN is to retain the title, although the conditions of preparation were not up to our expectations. due to the health crisis, in addition to the absence of Wydad, Raja and RSB players from most of the camps due to their involvement in African competitions ”.
Favored by many observers, the Botolists are therefore called upon to repeat the feat of 2018 achieved under Jamal Sellami after a flawless course.
In this regard, the official CAF website has published a ranking of the best contenders for the title, placing the national team among the favorites to win it, noting that “the experience available to the players of the local national team is from them favorites for the title ”.
During his preparation matches in preparation for this continental championship, Ammouta’s men played a few friendly matches, all of which won, against Mali, Niger and Guinea in particular, while the preparation course abroad, planned for this purpose, had been canceled by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) due to the health situation linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
As a reminder, the Moroccans, absent from the 2009 and 2011 editions, marked their first participation in 2014 in South Africa instead of Libya, led by a certain Hassan Benabicha. Their journey stopped in the quarterfinals after a defeat (3-4) against Nigeria, after their defeat at the end of extra time.
In 2016, this time under the leadership of M’hamed Fakher, the Botolists could not pass the first round of the competition, before coming back in force in 2018, at home, to win the title, which he This time it is about defending and conserving.