The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has ordered the replay of the abandoned CAF Champions League second leg final between Esperance of Tunisia and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca at a neutral venue after this month’s Africa Cup of Nations.
This development comes just over two weeks before the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Esperance were handed the title after Wydad Casablanca walked off the pitch an hour into last week’s return leg game in Tunis because VAR was unavailable to judge their disallowed goal.
Esperance were leading 1-0 in the second leg and 2-1 on aggregate when play was stopped, and after a 90-minute delay, the referee awarded the match to the home side.
Following a lengthy executive committee meeting in Paris, France, CAF presidential advisor, Hedi Hamel said the security provided for the game in Tunis was not good enough.
“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,” Hedi Hamel said.
“As a result, the match will have to be replayed at a ground outside of Tunisia… [and] Esperance will have to give trophy back. The match will be played after the Africa Cup of Nations at a date to be determined,” Hamel added.
Reports in Tunisia said officials were aware that the VAR system was not working, but the players probably did not know.
In the first leg in Morocco, VAR had played a major role when it ruled out a goal by Wydad and later appeals for a penalty by the Moroccan team.