Thursday Aug 01, 2019. 13:15
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has revoked the decision of the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) executive committee to have a replay of the 2018/19 CAF Champions League final between Esperance de Tunis and Wydad Casablanca.
In a statement released in Lausanne on Wednesday, CAS said: “The CAF Executive Committee did not have jurisdiction to order that the second leg of the [May 31st] final be replayed and has decided to annul the decision challenged.”
Both Esperance and Wydad took CAF to the CAS for different reasons: Esperance wanted to be declared champions, based on Wydad’s abandonment of the game in Tunis, while Wydad claimed they deserved to lift the title as a result of the absence of VAR and an alleged poor security situation in Rades.
However, CAS say they cannot intervene at this stage because the judicial procedures of CAF for such a situation were neither begun nor completed.
“Having annulled the decision of the CAF Executive Committee for formal reasons, it (CAS) has decided to refer to the competent CAF bodies the questions of the replay of the final’s second leg and of the disciplinary procedure, which is currently pending before the CAF and which does not fall within the CAS jurisdiction in the present arbitration procedure,” CAS’s statement from Lausanne said.
The statement added: “It is now for the competent CAF authorities to review the incidents which occurred in the Rades stadium on 31 May 2019, to order the appropriate disciplinary sanctions, if any, and accordingly to decide whether the second leg of the CAF Champions League Final 2018/2019 shall be replayed or not.”
As a result of the CAS ruling, Esperance can currently be regarded as the winners of the Champions League, pending the outcome of CAF’s judicial procedures with regards to any legal protests and complaints in regards to the final.