CAS verdict favors Esperance, rules CAF Exco can’t order replay of Champions League final

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Esperance celebrate winning the CAF Champions League | Esperance

Junior Lokosa and Esperance de Tunis have been confirmed CAF Champions League winners, again, this time by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) following an appeal to overturn CAF Executive Committee’s decision to replay the second-leg final against Wydad Casablanca.

Esperance were awarded the match and by implication the title – having won the first-leg 1-0 – after Wydad players walked off the pitch in protest over a goal that was chalked off by the match Referee.

 

Wydad Casablanca also sent an appeal to CAS over the decision to award Esperance the match.

 

In its verdict released on Wednesday, CAS stated that:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its (partial) decision in the appeal arbitration procedures filed by Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) and Espérance Sportive de Tunis (Tunisia) concerning the decision issued by the Executive Committee of the African Football Confederation (CAF) on 5 June 2019 in which they were ordered to replay the second leg of the CAF Champions League Final 2018/2019 on neutral ground.

The CAS Panel in charge of this matter has considered that the CAF Executive Committee did not have jurisdiction to order that the second leg of the final be replayed and has decided to annul the decision challenged. The appeals of both clubs are therefore partially upheld for that reason.

It is now for the competent CAF authorities to review the incidents which occurred in the Radès 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. The CAS Panel having annulled the decision of the CAF Executive Committee for formal reasons, it 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.

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Moïne Chaâbani’s side who have now secured back-to-back titles will contest in the 2019 CAF Super Cup and the Club World Cup in December.

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