The usual ritual of an official press conference on the eve of a major tournament took place on Friday, 12 January 2018 at the Complexe Sportif Mohamed V in Casablanca.
CAF President Ahmad was in attendance and reaffirmed the importance of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) towards the development of African football.
“This tournament is a pride of Africa and a legacy we inherited from our predecessors,” Ahmad said.
While reaffirming to the media the importance of their role in the development of African football, the CAF President bluntly said that “everything is ready” for the beginning of this competition which kick-off on Saturday, 13 January 2018 at the Complexe Sportif Mohamed V in Casablanca.
On his part, Hamza Hajoui, Deputy Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), sitting next to the CAF President, said his outfit has undergone a lot of work to renovate facilities in all four venues and are ready to host teams in the best conditions.
In order to facilitate the work of the media, the LOC has concluded an agreement with the National Railways Authority, ONCF, on a deal for accredited media for the tournament to able to travel free by train between the four venues. The media will be provided with a voucher at the various sale points of ONCF upon the presentation of their accreditation.
Although the pretext of the press conference was about Total CHAN Morocco 2018, the CAF President did not dodge the questions relating to the position of CAF with respect to the candidature of Morocco for hosting rights of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“As CAF President, it is an obligation for me to support Morocco’s bid. To claim the rights to organize a second World Cup in Africa in 100 years is legitimate. Now we have a way of doing things that involves consulting and involving everyone. Regarding this issue, the Executive Committee will decide soon and even the General Assembly, which will be held on 2 February 2018. As you might know, even at FIFA level, it is now the Congress as a whole that votes the host country of the FIFA World Cup,” explained.