By hosting the 4th edition of the African Cup of Nations under 23 (June 24-July 8), Morocco will have to meet three challenges, namely the success of the organization, obtaining of the continental title, and participation in the Olympic Games for the eighth time in its history.
The continental cup is an opportunity for the Moroccan U23 national team to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and thus make its return to this global sports competition, as well as to consecrate the brilliance of national football at the continental, regional levels. and internationally.
The Olympic national team (U23) first participated in the Olympic Games in 1964 in Rome, then in Munich 1972, Los Angeles 1984, Barcelona 1992, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and London 2012. It was absent from both last editions in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and in Tokyo in 2020.
The national team qualified for the London Olympics after finishing second in the CAN U23 in its first edition, which was hosted by the Kingdom in 2011, following their defeat in the final against Gabon ( 1-2).
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided the same year (2011) to create a tournament for the U23s, similar to the two African Championships for the U20s and U17s. In August 2015, the executive committee of the continental body decided to change the name of the tournament to the African Cup of Nations.
This edition was organized by Senegal after the withdrawal of DR Congo.
The Lionceaux de l’Atlas were eliminated in the group stage of this edition, after their defeat against Tunisia by 2 goals to 0, and were absent from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
In the 2019 edition of the continental competition, which was held in Egypt after the withdrawal of Zambia, the national team was also eliminated from the group stage after losing to Mali by 2 goals in 0, thus signing his absence from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Morocco inherited group A of CAN U23, alongside Ghana, Congo and Niger. Group B is made up of Egypt, Mali, Gabon and Niger.
For its first match, the national team will cross swords with its Guinean counterpart (June 24), before facing Ghana (June 27) and Congo (June 30).