CAF Champions League: CAF Uphold Disciplinary Committee’s Decision Over Abandoned Final Between Esperance de Tunis And Wydad Casablanca

The CAF Appeals Board on Sunday (15 September 2019) rejected the appeal by Wydad Athletic Club with respect to the second leg final of the Total CAF Champions League 2018/19, thereby upholding and confirming the decision of the CAF Disciplinary Board on 7 August 2019.

At its meeting at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo, the Board cited the following amongst others for their decision;

“…the Board underlined the fact that the absence of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has no legal effects whatsoever and that its sole purpose is to aid the referee to take the correct decision…..

“That the referee is vested with the power to have the final decision on the field of play since the start of the game, and that his decision is not up to review by the Appeal Board.

“The match officials’ reports were very clear that the Wydad Athletic Club’s players refused to resume the match even after several attempts conducted by the referee, to the point that the referee waited almost 90 minutes before he whistled the end of the match.

“The Appeal Board has noted that the stoppage of almost 90 minutes was due to the Wydad Athletic Club’s players’ failure to resume the match, the players were then instructed to resume play by the referee who has seen his attempts fail to no avail. Therefore the Appeal Board confirms that the match was forfeited by Wydad Athletic Club because their players refused to resume the match”.

With the decision upheld, the only solution for Wydad is to take the case to a final stop, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which will seem like a long stretch for the club and could bring further damage to the reputation of the competition.