Espérance crowned CAF Champions League winner as Wydad AC refuses to play over VAR dispute

Espérance Sportive de Tunis winner of CAF Champions League as Moroccan Wydad AC withdraws over VAR unavailability. [Photo: Internet]
Tunisian side Espérance were crowned as the Confederation of African football’s (CAF) Champions League winners after their final against Wydad AC was abandoned due to a row over the use of the Video Assistant Referee.

All eyes were on the second leg after last week’s drama, where the CAF’s referees committee handed match official Gehad Grisha – who was in charge of England’s World Cup match against Panama – a six-month ban due to his ‘poor performance’.

Trailing 2-1 on aggregate, Wydad’s Ismail El Haddad saw a header disallowed for an infringement, but complaints for the goal to be reviewed by VAR were waved away as the technology was deemed to be broken before kick-off, something which the players weren’t made aware of.

The CAF Champions League final was then delayed for 95 minutes before the win was eventually awarded to Espérance, who have now become just the fourth team to ever retain their title.

CAF confirmed in a statement that a meeting will be held early next week to discuss the incident at Tunisia’s Stade Olympique de Radès. It’s claimed that Wydad could face a two-year ban from competing in the competition for their decision to refuse to continue the match.
It was the first time in the CAF Champions League’s 55-year history that both legs of a final haven’t been completed, and it has now increased suggestions that a two-legged final should be scrapped.

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