LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has annulled a decision by the African soccer body to order its Champions League final to be replayed after one of the teams walked off to protest a malfunctioning Video Assistant Referee system.
[ MORE: 2 goals for Pulisic v. Salzburg ]
CAS ruled Wednesday that the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee did not have the jurisdiction to order the second leg of the final to be played again. CAS sent the decision back to CAF for its disciplinary committee to decide what to do about the troublesome game.
Esperance of Tunisia was leading Wydad Casablanca of Morocco 2-1 on aggregate in the May 31 game when Wydad had an equalizing goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.
Wydad demanded a VAR review of the goal, and its players walked off after being told the system wasn’t working.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Wydad Casablanca is going to get its second chance to win a second leg, while Esperance Tunis has to return its trophy and medals.
Moroccan side Wydad left the pitch in the second leg of the African Champions League final after a goal it scored was disallowed.
[ MORE: Premier League VAR details ]
That gave Esperance the title by forfeit, the leg still tied at 1 from the first leg.
Wydad scored a goal and the teams were not informed that VAR was unavailable due to a technical malfunction. Incredulous that the review was not taking place, Wydad left the field after an hour-long protest.
The first leg didn’t go well either, with a referee suspended for incorrectly judging a pair of VAR requests.
So, yes, this has all been handled very poorly.
In any event, the Club World Cup field will not be decided until the eve of the 2019-20 club season, as the second leg won’t be replayed until after the Africa Cup of Nations. That runs from June 21 until July 19.