The 2018 African Nations Championship, known as the Total African Nations Championship (also referred to as CHAN 2018) was the 5th edition of the African Nations Championship, a biennial football tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) exclusively featuring players from the respective national championships. It took place between 12 January and 4 February 2018. In February 2016, Kenya was announced as the host nation but in September 2017, CAF decided to change the host nation due to a lack of progress with preparations.Morocco was announced as the host nation in October 2017.
Unlike the African Cup of Nations, the competing national teams must be composed of players playing in their domestic league. For example, a Moroccan player is only eligible to play for the Morocco national team if he is playing for a Moroccan club.
The Ethiopian Football Federation did not provide the government's letter of guarantee, and were not considered. The CAF Emergency Committee decided to choose Morocco over Equatorial Guinea in October 2017.
The qualifying rounds took place from April to August 2017.
Since Morocco had already qualified in the North Zone before being named as replacement hosts, their spot in the final tournament was re-allocated to Egypt, which lost to Morocco in the North Zone final qualifying round. However, Egypt declined to participate citing a "congested domestic calendar". As a result, the spot was reverted to Central-East Zone (as originally three teams would participate including Kenya as original hosts), and would go to the winner of a play-off in November 2017 between Ethiopia and Rwanda, the two teams which lost in the Central-East Zone final qualifying round.
Each squad can contain a maximum of 23 players (Regulations Article 72). The finalized squads were announced by the CAF on 10 January 2018. Players must play for clubs in their home country.
A total of 32 match officials (16 referees and 16 assistant referees) were selected for the tournament. In addition, seven match official were selected to operate the video assistant referee (VAR) system starting from the quarter-finals, a first in African competitions.
The draw of the final tournament was held on 17 November 2017, 19:30 WET (UTC±0), at Sofitel Rabat in Rabat, Morocco.
The 16 teams were drawn into four groups of four teams. The hosts Morocco were seeded in Group A. The remaining teams were seeded based on their results in the four most recent final tournaments: 2009 (multiplied by 1), 2011 (multiplied by 2), 2014 (multiplied by 3), 2016 (multiplied by 4):
7 points for winner
5 points for runner-up
3 points for semi-finalists
2 points for quarter-finalists
1 point for group stage
Based on the formula above, the four pots were allocated as follows:
The top two teams of each group advance to the quarter-finals.
Teams are ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria are applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings (Regulations Article 74):
Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;