Wednesday Oct 02, 2019. 09:00
Tunisian club Esperance de Tunis have been awarded their US$2.5million prize money for winning the 2018/19 CAF Champions League.
The Confederation of African Football deposited the money with the ‘Blood and Gold’ on Tuesday.
“I can tell you that we just received our prize money this morning,” Hechmi Jilani told Insideworldfootball’s Osasu Obayuiana.
Esperance claimed the Champions League crown in controversial circumstances, with the second leg of the final against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca back in May abandoned after a protest against a disallowed goal.
After a battle through the courts (including the Court of Arbitration for Sport directing the African body to follow its own procedures), CAF’s Disciplinary Committee confirmed the title for Esperance.
The Tunis side will use the money to help fund celebrations for their centenary season, as well as continue on a congested fixture list which will see them face Zamalek in the African Super Cup, domestic duties in Tunisia, and the defence of their Champions League title.
“We may have had a very hard time to the title. But we have managed to get there in the end. It has been a very difficult few months for all of us at this club,” explained Jilani.
“We really want to move on from what has happened. Despite everything, we have the greatest respect for Wydad, which remains one of the big African clubs. We don’t have any intention to have any bad blood with them. We want cordial relations with them.
“The same thing applies to CAF. We don’t want to be at loggerheads with the body responsible for football in our continent. If we do that, that is not in our interest, because it will diminish the value of the title that we treasure highly.”