Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has ordered Tunisian side, Esperance to return the CAF Champions League trophy after the football governing body succumbed to pressure following the refusal of Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca to continue with the match.
This had led to CAF calling for a replay of the second leg of the final which will be held at a neutral ground after the Africa Cup of Nations which ends on July 19 in Egypt.
“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,” CAF presidential advisor Hedi Hamel said Wednesday following a lengthy executive committee meeting in Paris.
“As a result, the match will have to be replayed at a ground outside of Tunisia… (and) Esperance will have to give the trophy back.”
The match ended in a stalemate after Wydad Casablanca stormed out of the pitch after an equaliser they scored was disallowed.
Wydad wanted the video assistant referee to check if the goal should stand but the system was not working.
The VAR system was visible on the side of the pitch but the players had not been told it was not in use because of a malfunction.
The referee eventually awarded the victory to three-time champions Esperance who were leading by a lone goal after a 95-minute delay. CAF also stated that the 1-1 draw from the first leg in Morocco stands.
Wydad’s president said the club was “the victim of a scandal” and Caf subsequently called an Executive Committee meeting where the decision to replay the game was made.