CAF orders replay of the abandoned second leg of the CAF Champions League final

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Confederation of African Football

The confederation of African CAF, has ordered the abandoned second leg of the CAF Champions League final between Esperance and Wydad Casablanca to be replayed at a neutral venue after this month’s Cup of Nations.

The turmoil in Africa’s premier club competition comes just over two weeks before the start of an expanded 24-team Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Tunisian club Esperance were initially handed the title after Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca walked off an hour into last week’s return match in Tunis because VAR was unavailable to judge a disallowed equalizer.

Holders Esperance were leading 1-0 in the second leg and 2-1 overall when play was halted, and after a 90-minute delay the referee awarded the match to the home side.

Reports say officials were aware before the second leg that the VAR system was not working, but the players seemingly did not know.

Wydad believed they had levelled on 59 minutes when Walid el Karti headed a cross into the net.
TV replays confirmed he was onside, but might have fouled an opponent with his shoulder.

The Moroccan team insisted that the Gambian referee check with VAR, apparently unaware that the often controversial system was unavailable.

VAR had played a major role in the first leg of the final in Morocco on May 24, with referrals ruling out a goal by Wydad and later appeals for a penalty by the Moroccans.

The Egyptian referee of that match was subsequently banned for six months with CAF saying his performance was poor.