Morocco Wins CHAN 2018, Downs Super Eagles 4-0

The hosting team of the Africa Nations Championship 2018, Morocco have made history by lifting the 2018 trophy after defeating Nigeria with four unreplied goals at the finals.

The match which was played at Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca in Morocco saw a goal in the 43rd minutes when Morocco got their first goal, it was one-sided till the final whistle.

The CHAN Eagles side got depleted as Moses Eleji was issued a second yelow card and was sent off just as the second half got underway, after he committed a fowl with a hard tackle against a Moroccan player.

With three more goals in the second half, the Moroccan team celebrated their first ever CHAN championship.

Nigeria automatically won the silver medal while Sudan which won the third place match earlier played against Libya clinched bronze. The third place match ended in a penalty shoot out with Sudan winning 4-2.

Morocco launch Bid Logo For  Fifa 2026 World Cup

After failed attempts to host the tournament in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010,the north African country are set for a fifth World Cup bid lunch.

The campaign and logo to host the 2026 Fifa World Cup have been disclosed

Joining the rivalry are Canada, Mexico and the United States but the North Africans are committed to staging the global showpiece on African soil again after the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

The country’s Minister of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies, Moulay Hafid Elalamy has been named the Chairman of the Bid’s Committee while former Caf Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani has been appointed as its Chief Executive.

Morocco will be aiming to become the second nation to host the quadrennial event on the African soil after South Africa in 2010 with the release of its campaign logo which reflects the Kingdom’s national unity and plural identity.

Having hosted the 2013 and 2014 Fifa Club World Cups and the on-going African Nations Championship, the bid chairman Moulay Elalamy disclosed that a victory to stage the world’s biggest sporting event will be for the whole African continent.

“Morocco 2026 will showcase the best of football, at the heart of the world,” Elalamy said.

“We promise to stage a tournament overflowing with real passion and to celebrate the values of unity and peace.

“A World Cup in Morocco will deliver commercial success and leave a long-lasting legacy and if we win the honour of hosting we believe the winners will be football, the young people of our nation, Africa and the world.”

A Fifa Congress on June 13, will decide the bid that will host the tournament which will involve 48 teams, after Fifa approved expansion from 32 teams.

‘Experience Key In U20 WCQ v Morocco’

Nigeria’s U20 women’s team head coach, Christopher Danjuma has said his side will bank on experience to edge their north African opposition, Morocco.

The Falconets will be the guests of the Moroccans in the first leg second round 2018 Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup qualifying showdown in Salé, Morocco on Saturday.

Danjuma said his side will work very hard to get a convincing result in Morocco to make the reverse fixture clash in Nigeria a great deal easier.

“Preparations for the crucial clash against Morocco at the weekend are in high gear and the mood among the players is quite high.

“Our main goal in the whole qualifying exercise is to be in France for the World Cup competition proper.

“We always avoid judging other countries by their names as we strongly believe that every other country is developing at their own pace in the round leather game.

“Of course, we quite understand that there are no more minnows in Africa as far as women football is concerned.

“The edge is that we have strong league and experience, they do not have it.

“We hope to leverage and profit maximally from both factors to get a convincing head start in the clash.

“We always give due respect to other teams but we will take seriously the first leg clash then come back home to play with a lot of relaxation.

“The key for us is to be in France, so we will do the needful to achieve the sole mark,” said the coach, who is also in charge of the Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) side Nasarawa Amazons, to supersport.com.

The reverse fixture clash is expected to hold in a fortnight in Benin, Nigeria while the aggregate winners will likely confront South Africa in a two-legged last round qualifying match.

 

Source: SuperSport

Morocco To Replace Kenya As CHAN Hosts

Morocco will replace Kenya as hosts of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), organisers announced Sunday.

The emergency committee of the African Football Confederation (CAF) met Saturday in Lagos and unanimously decided to give Morocco the green light ahead of Equatorial Guinea. A third candidate, Ethiopia, was not considered because it did not provide a letter of guarantee from its government.

Original hosts Kenya fell behind with five-venue preparations for the biennial 16-team tournament, which runs from January 12-February 4, leading them to be stripped of the hosting rights last month.

Morocco have not hosted a senior CAF competition since the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations.

They were scheduled to stage the same event in 2015, but withdrew fearing visiting supporters could bring the deadly Ebola virus into the north African kingdom.

Equatorial Guinea successfully replaced Morocco at short notice, having co-hosted the Cup of Nations with Gabon three years earlier.

CHAN is restricted to home-based footballers, giving them international exposure otherwise largely denied because most African national squads are packed with professionals playing in Europe.

Two Absent From Morocco’s World Cup Qualifier

Morocco will have to do without experienced midfielder Younes Belhanda for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier in Bamako while striker Aziz Bouhaddouz has been ruled out through injury.

Belhanda is suspended for the group C match because of a caution he picked up in stoppage time at the end of Morocco’s 6-0 thrashing of Mali at home in Rabat on Friday.

It was his second booking of the World Cup qualifying campaign and means an automatic one-match suspension.

Second placed Morocco are two points behind the Ivory Coast in the chase for a place in next year’s final in Russia and need an away win to ensure they keep in touch with the Ivorians.

Germany-based Bouhaddouz also missed out on Friday’s game but Morocco has four other strikers in their squad – Khalid Boutaib, Rachid Allioui, Walid Azaro and Mimoun Mahi.

Admission of Morocco into ECOWAS is an Anti-Nigeria Move, By Bolaji Akinyemi

Since I left the office of the Minister of External (Foreign) Affairs in December 1987, I have refrained from making direct comments or I can count on the fingers of one hand, the number of times I have made comments on issues which are of direct concern to Nigerian foreign policy. I did this because I believed and still believe that having had my own opportunity at batting, the present ministers at the crease should be allowed unfettered room during their innings.

However, this issue of the admission of Morocco (and possibly Tunisia) into the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), an organisation midwifed by Nigeria and Togo, an organisation on which Nigerian regional security construct has been based for the past 40 years, an organisation on which Nigeria’s claim to be a regional medium power is based, is such an existential issue for Nigeria that every other thing pales into insignificance.

Firstly, the creation of ECOWAS was one of the most fundamental post-civil war strategic policies arising out of the lessons of the civil war which is that it is in the strategic interests of Nigeria to lock its West African neighbours into an area of co-prosperity and co-stability. Since then, Nigeria’s security policies in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’ Ivoire and The Gambia had been anchored on ECOWAS. When South Africa tried to be an interloper in Cote d’Ivoire, it was on the platform of ECOWAS that the South African attempt was seen off. That also explains why Nigeria bears a substantial cost of the ECOWAS.

Secondly, the geographical boundaries of regions have acquired a legal status internationally. The United Nations, the African Union and all international institutions now use the concept of regionalism in the distribution of both appointive and elective posts. ECOWAS cannot unilaterally expand the boundary of West Africa to the Mediterranean. What is the legal or moral or historical justification? How does this dovetail with the acceptable international norms and usage?

Thirdly, how well-thought-out is this move? If ECOWAS now shifts West African boundary to the Mediterranean, does it mean that not only Morocco and Tunisia, but Egypt, Libya, and Israel (shares a boundary with Egypt) and Palestine are eligible for membership in ECOWAS?

Fourthly, in whose interests is this move? Definitely, not in the interests of members of ECOWAS. When elective and appointive posts and resources are being allocated by international institutions, does Morocco now benefit from the West African quota?

This is not just a theoretical issue. Elections to seats at the Security Council, the World Court, various commissions of the United Nations are distributed on regional basis. Morocco, as a member of the Arab League, will benefit from the Arab League quota, and then have another bite at the West African quota, without other West African states benefiting from the Arab quota.

If ECOWAS decides to invite Angola, Mozambique, South Africa or even Ethiopia to take up membership, my concern will be exactly the same.

Having failed to find any rational benefit to ECOWAS by expanding membership to Morocco, I can only conclude that the move is motivated by bad faith driven by the desire to whittle down Nigerian influence in ECOWAS, and by extension in the world, as Nigeria status as a regional power is facilitated by its role in ECOWAS.

Nigeria has only one option: Let the West African Heads of State and Presidents drop this whole issue of expansion to the Mediterranean or Nigeria should serve notice that it would terminate, NOT SUSPEND, TERMINATE its membership of ECOWAS.

This issue is the biggest challenge to Nigerian foreign policy since the civil war.

Prof. A. Bolaji Akinyemi is a former Nigerian Foreign Minister and Deputy Chairman, 2014 National Conference

Nigeria Strengthens Economic Ties With Morocco

Nigeria and Morocco have strengthened their business relationship by signing two agreements in Rabat .

The first was the Joint Initiative on the Morocco –Nigeria Gas Regional Pipeline.

Tagged ‘The Wonder of Africa’ the pipeline project has historic significance because it is designed by ‘Africans for Africans’ with a direct impact on 300 million people through the speeding up of electrification projects in West Africa; thus underpinning the creation of a competitive electricity regional market.

The scope of the Memorandum of Understanding , which was signed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM), was to determine the modalities of undertaking a feasibility study and a Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study relating to a gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco.

It also specified equal partnership in governance, management and financing of the project. The timeline for both studies is two years from the date of signing. Interested third party countries will be allowed to join.

The second bilatéral agreement was on the Second Phase of the Fertiliser Initiative.

The first phase was the supply of a cargo of phosphate by Morocco to Nigeria after eight weeks of its signing.

This supply led to the resuscitation of 11 blending plants which produced about 1.3 million tonnes of fertiliser; creation of 50,000 (direct) and 150,000 (indirect) jobs while farmers have access to the quantity of fertiliser they need.

The second phase will enable the maximisation of local fertiliser production through the creation of platform for basic chemical products, secure the Nigeria’s market’s fertiliser supply for competitive prices and reinforce local distribution channels.

According to the Foreign Minister of Morocco, Nasser Bourita who presented the broad guidelines of the projects the signing of the agreements reflects the shared vision of the two leaders, President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and King Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco in favour of a sustainable, active and solidarity based joint development for Africa.

Both projects were initiated during the Royal visit of the king to Nigeria in December, 2016.

The ceremony, held at the palace of King Mohammed VI, had the King in attendance.

There was also a high- powered delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs ,Mr Godfrey Onyeama,the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, his counterpart in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Jigawa State and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Fertiliser.Alhaji Abubakar Badaru.

Representatives of some other African countries were also in attendance.

Morocco’s Squad To Host Netherlands At International Friendly

Morocco have confirmed they will be play a friendly international against the Netherlands in Agadir on May 31.

The match will serve as a warm-up before begin their 2019 African Nations Cup qualifying campaign away against African champions one week later, the Morocco Football Federation said at the weekend.

The match is likely to have a spicy edge because of the large Moroccan community who live in the Netherlands and who have contributed players to both national teams.

Morocco’s recent squads have featured several Dutch-born players like Mbarak Boussoufa, Karem El Ahmadi, Hakim Ziyech and Oussama Tannane.

The Dutch have had several players of Moroccan origin in their teams over the years years, mostly recently Ibrahim Affelay and Anwar El Ghazi.

The Netherlands beat Morocco in Orlando 2-1 in the World Cup in the USA in 1994 but five years late Morocco upset the Dutch 2-1 in Arnhem in a friendly.