CAF orders replay of African Champions League final

The second leg of the African Champions League final will be replayed after the original fixture was abandoned and the match awarded to Esperance.

The Confederation of African Football’s executive committee, meeting in Paris on the fringes of the FIFA congress, decided on Wednesday to re-stage the match at a neutral ground in a decision that could spark an immediate legal challenge.

Tunisian club Esperance was initially handed the title after Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca walked off an hour into last week’s return match.

At the time, Esperance was ahead 1-0  in the second leg and 2-1 overall. Wydad Casablanca scored to tie the match but left the pitch after their equalizer was disallowed.

Wydad wanted the video assistant referee system (VAR) to check if the goal should stand but the system was not working. After a delay of almost two hours, the match was awarded to home side Esperance, who were handed the trophy and winners’ medals.

The playing and security conditions were not met during the second leg of the CAF Champions League final, preventing the match from reaching its conclusion,” CAF presidential advisor Hedi Hamel said Wednesday following a lengthy executive committee meeting in Paris.

“As a result, the match will have to be replayed at a ground outside of Tunisia… (and) Esperance will have to the give trophy back.”

“The match will be played after the CAN (Africa Cup of Nations) at a date to be determined,” he added, with the tournament due to run from June 21 to July 19.