The TOTAL 2018 African Nations Championship which is in the fifth kicks off this evening in Morocco. The tournament is held every two years and will take place between 12th January and 4th February.
Morocco took over as host nation after Kenya who were announced as host nation in February 2016 were not ready and a lack of headway with preparations forced the CAF to thus hand it to Morocco last year.
The African Nations Championship comprises only national teams that must be composed of players playing in their respective domestic leagues with 16 teams making the cut for the finals of the tournament. However, since the hosts Morocco had already qualified in the North Zone, their spot in the final tournament were re-allocated to Egypt, which lost to Morocco in the North Zone final qualifying round. However, the Pharaohs declined to participate citing a “congested domestic calendar”.
As a result, the spot were reverted back to Central-East Zone, and went to the winner of a play-off between Ethiopia and Rwanda (the two teams which lost in the Central-East Zone final qualifying round.) Rwanda came out victorious in that encounter.
The Uganda Cranes contingent in Morocco safely travelled from Rabat (where they had an acclimatization training camp) to Marrakech on Thursday afternoon where their games will take place. The team led by head coach Sebastien Desabre is booked in at Palmeraie Golf Palace Hotel in Marrakech City and looked in hyper mood.
Training under flood lights resumed yesterday and also today at the Stade de Marrakech ahead of the Cranes’ opening game tomorrow against The Chipolopolo of Zambia. The Cranes will play all their group B games in the same 45, 240 capacity stadium. Uganda is in Group B alongside Zambia, Ivory Coast and Namibia.
Four cities are hosting the 16 teams in Morocco: Casablanca, Marrakech, Tangier and Agadir.
The Video Assistant Referee system will be used for the first time on the African continent and seven match officials will be responsible to implement it, while 32 match officials assist in all (16 referees and 16 assistant referees).
The 16 qualified teams were drawn into four groups of four.
It comprises host nation Morocco, Guinea, Sudan and Mauritania. Casablanca will host games of this group, with the matches played at the Stade Mohamed V.
Has host of the maiden tournament Ivory Coast, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia. They will be based at Marrakech with majority of the games at the Stade de Marrakech.
It has 2014 champions Libya as the top seed, Nigeria, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea.This group’s games will be at the Stade Ibn Batouta,Tangier.
We have 2011 runners-up Angola, Cameroon, Congo and Burkina Faso playing their matches at the Stade Adrar in Agadir.
Uganda Cranes Fixtures at the Total 2018 CHAN Finals in Morocco-(Group B)
Uganda Cranes Fixtures for Total 2018 CHAN Finals in Group B
All matches in Marrakech, UG time in Brackets
Uganda Vs Zambia –14th January 2018 7.30pm (10.30 pm)
Uganda Vs Namibia –18th January 2018 7.30pm (10.30 pm)
Uganda Vs Ivory Coast –22nd January 2018 7 pm (10 pm)
MAIN PHOTO: Uganda Cranes Head coach Sebastien with L-R Paul Mucureezi, Timothy Awanyi, Joseph Nsubuga and Captain Bernard Muwanga after training on Friday.