CAS revokes CAF decision to replay African Champions League final

CAF last month ordered the second leg to be replayed at a neutral venue following the Africa Cup of Nations after Moroccan side Wydad walked off an hour into the return fixture in Tunis.

Tunisia's Esperance, which led 2-1 overall at the time, was initially handed the title.   -  getty images

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday overruled an African Football Confederation decision that the abandoned Champions League final between Esperance and Wydad Casablanca be replayed.

CAF last month ordered the second leg to be replayed at a neutral venue following the Africa Cup of Nations after Moroccan side Wydad walked off an hour into the return fixture in Tunis when a VAR malfunction meant a disallowed equaliser could not be reviewed.

Tunisia's Esperance, which led 2-1 overall at the time, was initially handed the title, but CAF later backtracked after determining that “playing and security conditions were not met”. Both clubs subsequently lodged appeals with CAS.

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But CAS on Wednesday ruled that the executive committee of CAF was not “competent” to make a decision that the game be replayed.

CAS said it was now up to competent bodies within the federation, without giving further details, to decide if the game needs replaying or not.

Requests by Wydad to be named champions and granted the winners' paycheck were rejected, with CAS adding that Esperance's appeal would be investigated at a later date.

The on-field fiasco prompted CAF to reduce both the Champions League and Confederation Cup finals from two legs to one match at a neutral venue from next season.