Qualifiers for the 2018 CHAN tournament hold this weekend with Egypt seeking a first-time appearance.

The North Africans have been absent from CHAN since it began in 2008, but will be featuring nine years later when they host Morocco this weekend in one of the qualifiers.

Egypt, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe make their first appearances this weekend, leaving Cape Verde as the only country never to have participated.

Ordinarily, Egypt would be among countries expected to qualify for the 16-nation tournament and be among the favourites to go on and claim the $1.25 million (1.05 million euros) first prize.

But Morocco present a tough challenge in a home-and-away final round qualifier to be played on successive weekends, with Alexandria hosting the first leg and Rabat the return game.

Egypt rely less on Europe-based stars than most African countries with 12 of the 23-man squad that finished 2017 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up playing at home.

However, two of them will not be eligible to play against Morocco having secured contracts abroad.

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