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El Kaabi fires Morocco into CHAN final

Football
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sepp Blatter endorses Morocco bid over U.S. to host 2026 World Cup

FIFA president Gianni Infantino speaks to ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti about his hopes of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups being able to change any negative perceptions of both Russia and Qatar.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti the World Cup 'cannot afford' to be decided by an incorrect refereeing decision.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Thursday endorsed Morocco's bid to host the 2026 World Cup over the joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Blatter, who is banned from any role in global football for financial misconduct, issued his backing for the event to return to Africa, where he still has support after championing South Africa's bid to host in 2010.

Referencing the joint bid from the North American countries, Blatter tweeted: "World Cup 2026: Co-Hosting rejected by FIFA...

FIFA lifts ban on public endorsements of 2026 World Cup bids

LONDON -- A ban on voters publicly endorsing any 2026 World Cup bid has been lifted by FIFA in the face of criticism from football officials.

The governing body last month ordered officials not to openly discuss the merits of either the joint Northern American bid, featuring the United States, Canada and Mexico, or the rival bid from Morocco.

It led to Confederation of African Football President Ahmad to express frustration at being restricted from backing his continent's bid.

But FIFA Secretary...

African nations finalise World Cup warm-up matches

All of Africa's World Cup bound teams have finalised warm-up friendlies for next month, as they seek to get in potentially vital preparation ahead of their trip to Russia in mid-year.

Senegal were the last of the five countries to fix games for the international window between March 19-28, but all now have a decent diet to give themselves a solid test in the last window of opportunity while the players are still at their respective clubs.

Nigeria will go to Poland and then take on Serbia in London...

Morocco crush Nigeria 4-0 to win CHAN crown

Zakaria Hadraf scored twice as Morocco thumped 10-men Nigeria 4-0 in Sunday's African Nations Championship final in Casablanca to win their first CHAN title.

Hadraf opened the scoring in the 44th minute after the Atlas Lions had largely bossed the opening stages, and struck the hosts' third in the 63rd minute - moments after Walid El Karti had doubled their lead.

Nigeria, who were reduced to 10 men in the 47th minute when Moses Eneji received a second yellow, capitulated after the break, as they...

Jamal Sellami hints at World Cup hope for Ayoub El Kaabi

Morocco coach Jamal Sellami has paid tribute to African Nations Championship top scorer Ayoub El Kaabi and believes the striker is in Herve Renard's consideration ahead of the World Cup.

El Kaabi has been one of the CHAN's outstanding individuals so far, breaking the record for goals scored in a single edition of the competition after netting eight goals en route to the final.

He has the opportunity to add to his tally in Sunday's final against Nigeria in Casablanca, while Sellami also believes...