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CAF asks Esperance to return Champions League trophy — and orders replay

Author:
Remi Sulola

Confederation of African Football (CAF) has ruled and announced the Champions League final between Wydad Casablanca and Esperance will be replayed.

Esperance have also been told to return the trophy and medals awarded last Saturday.

CAF has also confirmed that the final replay will take place after the African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The AFCON ends on July 19 in Cairo.

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Below are some of the rules guiding the game of football:

CAF ExCo in a statement after a meeting in Paris on Wednesday said: “The conditions of game and safety were not met during the 2nd leg of the CAF Champions League final held on May 31, 2019, preventing the match from coming to an end;

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“Consequently, the 2nd leg match must be replayed on another ground outside Tunisian territory;

“All the CAF regulations relating to this competition are maintained for the said 2nd leg match;

“The date and venue of this meeting will be determined later by the CAF Executive Committee;

“Consequently, Espérance de Tunis will have to render to the CAF Secretariat trophy and medals awarded on May 31, 2019, upon official notification of this decision;

“All other aspects of disciplinary, organization and refereeing will be submitted to the relevant committees for processing and decisions.”

The first leg result which ended 1-1 between the two North African countries in Morocco stands.

Hosts Espérance took a deserved lead after a brilliant strike from Mohamed Youcef Belaili in the 44th minute.

But drama ensued in the 59th minute when a goal from Walid El Karti was disallowed, with no VAR intervention.

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The Moroccans were left infuriated and chose not to continue the match after 95 minutes of delay.

The Wydad players claimed they were not informed prior to the match that the VAR machine was not functioning.

Referee Bakary Gassama eventually awarded the victory to the Tunisian club side — three-time champions of the title.

Wydad’s president said the club was “the victim of a scandal” and CAF subsequently called an Executive Committee meeting where the decision to replay the game was made.

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