The CAF TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN), kicked off in Algeria yesterday evening with Nigeria’s flag missing.

It was an all North-African affair in yesterday’s opening ceremony, as the hosts, Algeria, battled with Libya.

The continental competition, which is for players who feature in their domestic leagues, will run from January 13 to February 4, 2023.

The Super Eagles B team was denied the ticket to the party in Algeria by Ghana’s Black Galaxies in September last year.

After conceding 2-0 in the first leg of the qualifiers in Cape Coast, Ghana, the Nigerian team scored twice in the return leg in Abuja to level at 2-2, only to fall 4-5 in the penalty shootout to gift the Ghanaians the ticket.

It was the second defeat to Ghana in 2022, as the senior national team, Super Eagles, suffered a similar fate in the hands of the Black Stars in the race to Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The absence of the Super Eagles B team at the TotalEnergies CHAN in Algeria notwithstanding, former Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, is among big names in world football that attended the opening ceremony yesterday in Algiers.

Apart from Okocha, other big stars invited by the Confederations of African Football (CAF) include Asamoah Gyan of Ghana, Tunisia’s Karim Haggui, El Hadji Diouf from Senegal and Togolese Emmanuel Adebayor.

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