Rabat – Morocco’s national football team is set to play two friendly matches in October, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced Monday.
The friendly matches will be against Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo, FRMF said.
The matches will take place in Rabat on October 9 and October 13, respectively, as part of the preparation for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).
The Atlas Lions were set to face the Central African Republic on March 2 in what would have been the third 2021 CAN qualifier match for the Moroccan team.
However, sports authorities canceled the match due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Morocco’s national team ranked 43rd in the July 16th FIFA Ranking. It is also the fifth top football team in Africa, according to the same ranking. Senegal tops the African teams list, followed by Tunisia, Nigeria, and Algeria.
The friendly matches against Senegal and DRC in October can change Morocco’s ranking favorably if the Atlas Lions win or show good performance and improvement during the games.
The friendly games are set to take place amid the COVID-19 crisis. It is expected that the matches will take place without an audience as part of the measures to limit the spread of the pandemic.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) postponed the dates for the CAN qualifying matches due to COVID-19 and is now rescheduling them.
A set of qualifier matches will take place from November 9-17 this year. Other games will take place next year between March 20-22.
CAF also postponed the final matches for CAN 2021 until January 2022 due to the pandemic.
Qualifier matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are now set to begin in mid-2021.
FRMF has been announcing a set of preventive measures to limit the spread of the pandemic among players in the Moroccan Botola (professional league).
Several Moroccan clubs recently confirmed infections among players and staff, including Wydad of Casablanca, Moghreb Athletic de Tetouan, and Ittihad Tanger.