Afcon 2023: South Africa want Liberia qualifiers moved from Morocco

Afcon 2023: South Africa want Liberia qualifiers moved from Morocco
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The South Africa Football Association (Safa) has asked that Liberia should not be allowed to play its home 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Morocco.

Liberia is one of several African countries who do not have a stadium which meets the Confederation of African Football’s standards to host international matches.

Instead Liberia wants to host its upcoming Nations Cup qualifiers in Morocco – despite the two teams being drawn together in Group K.

The west Africans are scheduled to play a ‘home’ tie against Morocco in Casablanca, in the second round of group matches on 13 June.

South Africa, who along with Zimbabwe are in the same group as the pair, have written to Caf to complain about the proposal.

“Safa hereby raise and officially object to that arrangement as it goes against the principles of Fair Play,” a letter from the association pointed out.

“The Moroccan Football Association will travel less and enjoy the benefits of home ground advantage more than anyone in the group.

“We understand the challenges of stadia on the continent, but we plead that it not be to disadvantage other countries or give unfair advantage to others.”

World Cup advantage

Last year Morocco played all six of their 2022 World Cup group-stage qualifiers on home soil with Sudan, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea all choosing to host some of their games in the North African country.

A total of nine of the 12 qualifiers were played in Morocco, with Guinea-Bissau hosting one of their matches in Mauritania while Guinea and Sudan both hosted a game on home soil.

However, all those games in north Africa were played behind closed doors as no crowds were permitted to attend because of restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlas Lions won all six of their group games to qualify for the play-offs, where they beat DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate to reach the World Cup finals in Qatar.


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