Esperance to appeal Caf decision to replay league final

Thursday June 06 2019

Esperance de Tunis team captain Moez Ben Cherifia holds a trophy after winning during the 2nd leg of CAF champion league final 2019 football match between Esperance and Morocco's Wydad Athletic Club in Rades on May 31, 2019. CAF has ordered a replay of the second leg of the final, but the Tunisian team says it will appeal the decision. PHOTO | FETHI BELAID | AFP


Tunisian side Esperance plan to appeal the Confederation of African Football (Caf) decision to replay the second leg of the African Champions League final.

They won the cup after Moroccan opponents Wydad Casablanca left the pitch after an equaliser they scored was disallowed during the June 1, 2019 match.

Wydad wanted the video assistant referee to check if the goal should stand but the system was not working.

Esperance were leading 1-0 at the time.

"The club’s management will hold an urgent meeting to appeal against Caf's decision with the relevant international bodies and will take all legal measures to preserve its rights," Esperance said in a short statement.

The 1-1 draw from the first leg in Morocco stands.


The replay will be after the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, which ends on 19 July.

A Caf statement said "conditions of game and safety were not met" in the second leg and made clear Esperance players must return their winners' medals as well as the trophy.


Play in the second leg was halted after Wydad thought they had equalised on 59 minutes through Walid El Karti's header. It was disallowed for an infringement.

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 after a 95-minute delay.

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.