The 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) is set to kick off later today, as hosts Morocco seek a strong start against Mauritania in the tournament opener at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.
This is Morocco’s third successive appearance at the continental event, having reached the quarterfinals in 2014, followed by a group stage exit in 2016.
The CHAN tournament is reserved only for African players who play club football in their own domestic championships.
The competition was first held in 2009 in Cote d’Ivoire, staring with only eight teams. It quickly attracted interest of more nations, doubling the number of participating teams to 16 in the last edition held in Rwanda.
Morocco were awarded the hosting rights in November 2017 following the Confederation of African Football’s decision to strip Kenya of those rights, citing a failure to prepare adequately.
CHAN has previously been won by two North African countries; Libya and Tunisia, with the Democratic Republic of Congo winning twice, in 2009 and 2016.