Published On: Wed, Jul 31st, 2019

African Champions League final: More confusion as Cas overturns replay decision

Esperance were initially awarded the trophy but then ordered to return it days later

The destiny of the African Champions League is uncertain after the Court of Arbitration for Sport overruled the decision to replay the final.

Tunisia’s Esperance and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca lodged appeals after the Confederation of African Football decided to replay the second leg – both felt they should be awarded the win.

Wydad had a goal disallowed and left the pitch because VAR was not working.

Esperance were winning 2-1 on aggregate and declared champions initially.

The home side were handed the trophy and winners’ medals after a two-hour delay on 1 June, but were told to return them days later after Caf ordered a replay on neutral territory, citing “unsafe conditions”.

Both clubs think they should be named champions and given the prize money. Wydad’s request was rejected by Cas, with Esperance’s appeal to be investigated at a later date.

Play in the second leg was halted after Wydad thought they had equalised on 59 minutes through Walid El Karti’s header but it was disallowed for an infringement.

The video assistant referee system was visible on the side of the pitch but the players had not been told it was not in use because of a malfunction.

After appeals by both clubs, Cas ruled that Caf’s executive committee “did not have jurisdiction” to order that the final be replayed.

It has ordered “competent Caf authorities to review the incidents”, specifically to refer the case to its proper disciplinary structures for a decision on whether the game will be replayed or not.

The video assistant referee system was not working – but the players had not been told