WAC to Take CAF Final Case to Arbitration Court for Sport
Rabat – Moroccan club Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) announced on Thursday, June 13, that it will take the case of the arbitrary refereeing mistakes- which occurred during the second leg of the final of Africa’s Champions League, resulting in a win for Tunisian rival Esperance de Tunis (EST)- to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
WAC’s protest over the absence of a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and the poor referee performances is supported by the Champions League regulations.
On Friday, May 31, Gambian referee, Gassama Bakary, refused a legitimate goal for Wydad Casablanca, angering Moroccan football fans and observers, who argued that the decision of the referee was unjust.
When Wydad players put pressure on the refereeing staff to use the VAR, the referees said that the video footage was unavailable due to technical issues.
The players subsequently refused to resume the game until the VAR issue has been fixed. WAC players were given no concrete reason why the VAR was not functional in such an important game.
Paragraph 15 of Article 2 of the CAF regulations stipulates that “If it is established that the absence of the designated referees was the fault of the host association, the host team shall be declared the loser by 2 to zero and shall be eliminated from the competition, regardless of the result obtained on the field.”
The Moroccan club, that was playing at the Tunisian team’s home ground at Rades, may be declared winner as stipulated by the CAF regulations. The regulations state that “if the referee is forced to stop the match before the end of the regular time because of pitch invasion or aggression against the visiting team, the host team shall be considered the loser and shall be eliminated from the competition.”
Despite CAF regulations being in favor of the Moroccan team, CAF decided instead to re-play the game causing backlash from both EST and WAC supporters.
CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad, has said that the president of EST threatened him during the game.
Naciri went on to add that the CAF officials attempted to convince him to resume play in exchange for granting them next year’s title.
“All of them, without exception, were asking us to continue the game and next year’s title would be yours,” revealed Naciri in an interview with Medi1TV.
Naciri will now seek justice for his club by requesting to be declared winners without re-playing the 2nd leg of the African Champions League final in South Africa.