Morocco will be allowed to compete in the next two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned a ban imposed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the country’s refusal to host this year’s edition.
Additionally, CAS has reduced a fine imposed on the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) from $1 million to $50,000.
CAF had also ordered the FRMF to pay $9 million in damages, which CAS said “may be examined by another jurisdiction”.
FRMF vice-president Nourredine Bouchhati said the CAS decision was “excellent news” after winning back the right to contest the continental tournament in 2017 and 2019.
“It puts an end for now to this conflict with CAF, with which we will continue to work with normally,’’ he told local media.
The Moroccan Government had demanded that the 16-team tournament be delayed until June over fears that fans from the region worst affected by the Ebola virus, West Africa, may travel to the country.
But after CAF refused to re-schedule the tournament from the traditional January/February dates, Morocco announced in November they would not be staging it.
Equatorial Guinea was promptly chosen as a replacement and Ivory Coast went on to win the competition, beating Ghana in the final on penalties.
Algeria, Gabon and Ghana are all in the running to host the 2017 tournament with CAF set to announce a winner on April 8.