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CAS to hold hearing on 2019 CAF Champions League Final1 minute read

The Court of Arbitration for Sports will on May 29 deliberate on the feud between Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca and Tunisia’s Esperance

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The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) will on May 29 deliberate on the feud between Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca and Tunisia’s Esperance over the 2019 CAF Champions League final.

The Moroccan club had dragged the Tunisians and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to the Lausanne-based court after the second leg of the final was abandoned in controversy in the 58th minute.

Wydad had refused to continue playing following a row over the Video Assisted Referee (VAR) system. Play was halted when VAR was unavailable to judge a disallowed equalizer. VAR had been set up on the side of the pitch, but the players were reportedly unaware it was not working, while officials were aware. The referee had awarded the victory to three-time former champions Esperance.

The Tunisian side were leading 1-0 (2-1 on aggregate) in the second leg and VAR had been used in the first leg in Morocco.

But in the second leg in Rades, Walid El Karti’s header for Wydad was disallowed for an infringement. Both sides lodged complaints with CAS following an initial ruling from CAF that the second leg should be replayed.

The court’s first ruling in August 2019 said that CAF’s executive committee “did not have jurisdiction” to order that the final be replayed. Following that decision, the disciplinary committee of CAF declared Esperance winners of the 2018/19 CAF Champions League.

Wydad then lodged a further case with CAF and its Appeal Board, which on 15 September rejected the Moroccan club’s request.

Wydad subsequently filed new evidence and documents with CAS against CAF and Esperance. A ruling was initially expected in March but CAS banned all in-person hearings due to the coronavirus crisis while Switzerland’s borders have been closed and strictly controlled since March 13.

The hearing will now be conducted via video conference.

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Mane and Salah win Premier League title with Liverpool

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African stars Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have helped English club Liverpool end their 30-year wait for a league title after being crowned English Premier League champions on Thursday night.

Manchester City’s 2-1 loss at Chelsea ensured the Reds now have an unassailable 23-point lead with seven matches remaining in the season. Goals from Christian Pulisic and Willian either side of a Kevin De Bruyne freekick saw rapturous celebrations from Liverpool fans all over the world.

Jurgen Klopp had earlier led his Liverpool side to a comprehensive 4-0 win over Crystal Palace 4-0 on Wednesday evening to leave them on the brink of winning the title.

“I have no words. It’s unbelievable,” Klopp said in an interview after the Chelsea win. “It’s much more than I ever thought, to become champions with this outstanding club is unbelievable.”

“It’s an incredible achievement for my players, It’s the best thing I could ever imagine and it’s more than I ever dreamed of,” he said.

Liverpool’s principal owner, John W. Henry, paid tribute to the team’s “magnificent achievement” on social media.

“‘This was a season for the ages and for the faithful of Liverpool Football Club,” Henry, who is head of Fenway Sports Group, tweeted.

“‘It has been an incredible year of magnificent achievement culminating tonight in capturing the Premier League title.

“‘This in addition to winning a European championship, a Super Cup and a world championship — the totality of this accomplishment has brought respite and joy to so many in a year filled with so much tragedy.

“‘LFC has made the beautiful game more beautiful than ever.

“It is said, ‘We are Liverpool’. You, the supporters are Liverpool in every sense and you continue to drive the club forward — a historic club making history once again.”

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Nominees released for 2019/2020 Marc Vivien Foe Award

French media outlets RFI and France 24 have released the 11 nominees for the 2019/2020 Marc-Vivien Foe Award

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French media outlets RFI and France 24 have released the 11 nominees for the Marc-Vivien Foe Award. The annual event is organized in memory of the late Marc-Vivien Foe, a Cameroonian midfielder who died at the age of 28 while playing for the Indomitable Lions during a 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup match against Colombia.

He had two stints in the French Ligue 1, first turning out for Lens before playing for Olympique Lyon after a short time in England with West Ham United.

Ivorian Nicolas Pépé was the winner of the 2019 edition after a stunning, 22-goal season with Lille who finished as runners up behind Paris St. Germain. Nominees must be eligible to wear the colors of an African national team and must have played at least 15 matches in Ligue 1 in the season under consideration.

The list is dominated by players from Senegal, with no less than four from the runners up at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. They include PSG’s defensive midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, Stade Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy who kept nine clean sheets and saved a penalty from 24 Ligue 1 games, teammate Mbaye Niang who scored 15 goals in 36 games in all competitions and FC Metz’ Habibou Diallo who scored 12 goals.

Nigerian duo Victor Osimhen and Moses Simon will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Vincent Enyeama, who won the award in 2014. Osimhen had a dream debut campaign in France with Lille, scoring 18 goals in 38 games across all competitions, 13 of them in 27 league games. Simon, who was on loan from Levante had a solid campaign as well, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists from 30 games with Nantes.

African champions Algeria are also represented. Striker Islam Slimani scored nine goals in 19 games across all competitions for Monaco while compatriot Andy Delort also scored nine goals for Montpellier. Both players are hoping to become the first Algerians to win the award.

Gabon and Saint Etienne’s Bouanga Denis, Malian Hamari Toure of Rennes and Morocco’s Younis Abdelhamid of Reims complete the shortlist.

The winner will be announced on or before June 29 2020.

The full list:

Andy Delort (Algeria) Montpellier
Islam Slimani (Algeria) Monaco
Edouard Mendy (Senegal) Rennes
Idrissa Gana Gueye (Senegal) PSG
Habib Diallo (Senegal) FC Metz
Mbaye Niang (Senegal) Rennes
Moses Simon (Nigeria) FCNantes
Victor Osimhen (Nigeria) LOSC
Younis Abdelhamid (Morocco) Reims
Hamari Traoré (Mali) Rennes
Denis Bouanga (Gabon) ASSE

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North Africa Sports

Egyptian league to wait on government

The President of the Egyptian Football Association reveals that the return of sports in the country is solely dependent on the government

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The President of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Amr El-Gainany has said the return of sports in the country is solely dependent on the government.

All Sporting activities in Egypt have been suspended since 14 March due to the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the world. In Egypt, the number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise, as they are getting close to the 20,000-case mark.

The Egyptian FA president says they are prepared for any scenario as he revealed that the future of Egyptian sports is dependent on the decisions of the government.

“We haven’t taken a final decision regarding the future of sports competitions in Egypt,” said El-Ganainy.

“This decision will be made by the government but until now it wasn’t taken.

“We’re fully prepared if the government decides to continue the league”

“Even if the league is cancelled, we’ll be ready and we prepared several scenarios. We all want to continue the league unless the situation doesn’t allow it.

“In case we continue the league, the games won’t be played on the same pitches or the cities, as we want to limit the movement of the players,” he added.

El-Ganainy also gave an update on the health of the EFA’s technical director Mahmoud Saad who contracted the coronavirus after a meeting with some expatriate Egyptian coaches.

“There are no cases within the EFA, we took all of the precautions and we hope that Mahmoud Saad recovers quickly.

“Mahmoud Saad’s situation is improving every day. I want to thank him for his efforts over the previous year’s especially regarding dealing with athletes returning from abroad. He made a lot of efforts which exhausted him,” he concluded.

The former Zamalek coach will undergo the medical protocol cited by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and will take all the official cautions and measurements to face the virus.

The precautionary measures given by the government have been taken inside the EFA’s headquarters since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the EFA’s Chief Executive Walid El-Attar.

The Egyptian Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi said recently that football clubs will resume training in June.

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