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CAF Champions League final abandoned

Esperance wins CAF Champions Leage title after Wydad abandons final in VAR protest

June 1, 2019 By Ali M.
The Moroccan side was left infuriated after a VAR controversy robbed them of an equalizer and refused to play as a result.

All the focus is on the upcoming UEFA Champions League final, but the controversy that occurred in the CAF Champions League has turned heads after the game was abandoned in protest against VAR.

Esperance, the reigning champion, and Wydad battled it out in the ultimate game in a two-legged affair. The title holder was leading 1-0 in the second leg, 2-1 on aggregate, when the Moroccan outfit scored a legitimate equalizer.

This is when the fiasco begun as that effort had been overturned by the referee. The Wydad players demanded this decision get referred to Video Assistance Referee. VAR had not been working at that moment as the screen had reportedly been smashed and the Gambian referee failed to inform the players of this development.

Esperance, Wydad, CAF Champions League

In protest, the away side then refused to play, resulting in the game being halted roughly 95 minutes. CAF president Ahmad Ahmad spent half-an-hour in discussion with the official in an attempt to get the game resumed with little success. The win was eventually awarded to the home side.

It should be noted that the first leg experienced similar controversies. Wydad saw a legitimate goal overturned and was denied a penalty in the 1-1 draw, leaving the Moroccans infuriated. The match official in that game, Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha, was subsequently handed a six-month ban but then  Saturday's VAR debacle followed, tipping them over the edge.

Chaos soon followed. A fight broke out between member of the two teams after the curtain was called on this unforgettable embarrassment in what surely is a disgrace to the competition.

Tempers flare after Esperance was awarded the win 

CAF announced that a meeting will be held on Tuesday in the wake of this controversy. Despite the injustice, Wydad could be facing a two-year ban from the CAF Champions League as punishment for abandoning the game.


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