(BBC Sports) Morocco will not bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the country's sports minister said.
The North African nation had been tipped as a replacement for Cameroon, who were stripped of the hosting rights last month due to poor preparations.
"Morocco did not intend to run for the 2019 African Cup of Nations and will not do so," Minister of Youth and Sport Rachid Talbi Alami told AFP.
Interested parties have until 2200 GMT on Friday to make an official bid.
In June this year, Morocco failed with a fifth bid to host the World Cup - after losing out to a triple bid Canada, Mexico and the United States.
The following month, Morocco did step in to host the 2019 African Games - formerly known as the All Africa Games - after original hosts Equatorial Guinea withdrew due to financial concerns.
This was a twist on a story concerning the 2015 Nations Cup which Morocco had been due to host but which ended up being staged in Equatorial Guinea after the North Africans requested a postponement because of concerns over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Morocco - which had been widely tipped to step in to host next year's Nations Cup - has only ever hosted Africa's flagship football tournament once, back in 1988.
The 2019 finals will be the first to feature 24 teams, rather than 16, and be held in June/July, as opposed to its traditional January/February slot.
After being named Girona’s player of the month for February, Moroccan international goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was named player of the month for November as well.
By Morocco World News
Rabat – Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou received the title of African player of the month in November by users on the France Football website.
Over 20,000 people voted for Yassine Bounou, constituting 69 percent of the total votes.
The Moroccan professional player is ahead of Algeria’s Youcef Atal (Nice) who got 29 percent of the votes, and the Ivorian Gervinho (Parma) who got 2 percent of the votes.
Bounou, 27, born in Canada, began his professional career with La Liga’s giants Atletico reMadrid following a transfer from Wydad De Casablanca (WAC) in June 2012.
He initially played for Atletico Madrid’s B-team, but in 2014, he joined the main squad following the departure of Atletico’s two main goalkeepers, Thibaut Courtois and Daniel Aranzubia.
The goalkeeper currently plays for the Spanish club Girona, which named him their best player of the month in February.
Bounou was one of 23 players to participate in the World Cup with the Atlas Lions and appeared with the Moroccan national football team on several occasions.
CAF executive committee decided that Total CAF Super Cup 2018 between Espérance Sportive de Tunis & Raja Club Athletic will be played in Qatar .. Date & Time will be announced later .. More to follow ...
(Goal.com) The 31-year-old defender has been ruled out of Wednesday's Champions League game in Bern
Medhi Benatia will sit out Juventus' clash against Young Boys on Wednesday as he continues recovery from a knee injury, the Italian club confirmed.
The centre-back who has not played a game for the Bianconeri since November [vs. AC Milan] suffered an inflammation in his right knee during a training session on Monday.
As a result, the Morocco international did not travel with the rest of the squad to Switzerland and also missed the chance to make his second appearance in the Champions League this season.
Benatia has managed just 90 minutes of action in the tournament this term, his only appearance against the same opposition.
"Juve already began training for the fixture [vs. Young Boys], and this morning they worked on the tactical and technical aspects of the match," read the club statement.
"During the session, Medhi Benatia stopped because of an inflammation in his right knee."
Having qualified to the knockout round, Massimiliano Allegri's men, currently top of Group H, with two points above Manchester United need to avoid defeat at the Stade de Suisse to maintain their spot as group leaders.
Benatia has played six games in all competitions this season - a situation that has made him worried about his future at the Allianz Stadium with Barcelona and Marseille reportedly interested in his signing.
He was an unused substitute as Juventus extended their dominance at the summit of the Serie A log with a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan on Friday.
Ismaily became the third Egyptian side to exit the Arab Zayed Cup at the last-16 stage after suffering a 4-2 shootout defeat by Morocco's Raja in Casablanca after a 0-0 aggregate draw on Tuesday.
The Dervishes managed to hold Confederation Cup winners Raja to a 0-0 stalemate, the same result of the first leg, but some poor spot-kicks let them down in the shootout.
(BBC Sports) Morocco's defender Achraf Hakimi, who is on loan from Real Madrid at German club Borussia Dortmund, has won a second Bundesliga's Rookie of the Month award.
The 20-year-old beat strikers Jean-Philippe Mateta of Mainz and Fortuna Düsseldorf's Dodi Lukebakio to November's prize, after winning it in September.
His brace of awards mean he earns a nomination for the award as the Bundesliga Rookie of the season.
If he wins the end-of-season title he will succeed compatriot Amine Harit, who was the Bundesliga's Rookie for the 2017/18 season.
An ever-present in the squad, the Moroccan has made a strong impact as Dortmund remain unbeaten in the league and currently sit top of the Bundesliga table.
The Real Madrid academy graduate made nine league appearances for the Spanish club under Zinedine Zidane last season.
As well as his league appearances Hakimi also played five times in the Copa del Rey and twice in the Champions League before sealing a two-year loan switch to Germany in July.
"We will try to do what we did with Paco [Alcacer, who was signed on permanent deal from Barcelona recently]," said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
German legend Lothar Matthaus is the face of the award and chooses his top three players every month, after data is used to say who is performing the best in the league.
Hakimi, an attacking full-back, started all three of Morocco's games at the World Cup in Russia before they were eliminated in the group stage.
He has played all the Group B matches so far as the Atlas Lions sealed a return to next year's Africa Cup of Nations.
(BBC Sports) The Confederation of African Football's (Caf) executive committee will hold an extraordinary meeting on 9 January to choose new hosts for the 2019 Nations Cup.
Caf is looking for a new venue for the continental tournament after it stripped Cameroon of the hosting rights due to a lack of progress with preparations.
Countries have until 2200GMT on 14 December to submit official bids to host the 24-team tournament which begins in June next year.
Despite reports of interest from Morocco and Congo-Brazzaville no-one has made an official declaration of interest to host the event.
The South Africa Football Association (Safa) is planning a meeting with country's sports minister Tokozile Xasa on Tuesday in order to make a decision on making a bid.
Xasa has expressed an interest in South Africa hosting the event for a third time but admitted she needed more details from Safe before finalising the offer.