Esperance Tunis have clinched their fourth Caf Champions League title after Wydad Casablanca abandoned the game.
It was a sad day for football in Africa as the 2019 Caf Champions League final between Es Tunis and Wydad Casablanca ended in embarrassment.
After the game, it can be said that Wydad Casablanca were robbed in the CAFCL Final, after VAR flopped totally in one of the biggest game in Africa.
This is not the game where the VAR should not work for over two hours, and giving the fact that VAR was used in the first leg (and correctly denied Wydad Casablanca of a goal) then nothing should have gone wrong in this game. But this is Africa.
The first leg had ended 1-1 at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat with the Moroccans needing an away win to emerge as champions.
Fueled by a deafening noise inside Stade Olympique de Rades, Esperance took the lead in the 41st minute through Mohamed Belaili.
The game came to an abrupt end after the Moroccans walked off the pitch following referee Bakary Gassama’s refusal to review Walid El Karti’s disallowed strike for Wydad.
The controversy occurred in the 58th minute of play in the final second-leg clash, when Wydad midfielder Walid El Karti’s headed goal was ruled out.
Gambian referee Bakari Gassama chose not to use video assistance to review the goal, which led to Wydad walking off the pitch and refusing to return.
With the game being halted for over an hour, Gassama declared the home team, Esperance the champions due to Wydad’s refusal to re-enter the pitch.
In what have been described as shameful scenes for the tournament’s organisers (CAF), reports later revealed that VAR was not used due to technical issues with the system.
Amid chaotic scenes, CAF president Ahmed Ahmed entered the pitch in an attempt to reason with the players and explain why VAR was not used.
Watch the video of the moment the players of Wydad Casablanca abandoned the game below;
Moment Wydad scored a legitimate goal;
A SCANDAL IN RADES! MATCH INTERRUPTED AFTER A LEGITIMATE GOAL FOR WYDAD CASABLANCA DENIED BY THE REFEREE. THE REFEREE REFUSED TO CHECK VAR TECHNOLOGY WHILE WYDAD PLAYERS REFUSE TO CONTINUE TO THE GAME. APPARENTLY VAR IS NOT WORKING.@FIFAcom @CAF_Online @SkySport pic.twitter.com/2g9y16Gy1J
— BADR 🇲🇦 (@badr_moukhliss) May 31, 2019
Players get physical with ref
Players protest the non-usage of VAR, storm off pitch
This is Africa and in the end, Esperance won 2-1 on aggregate, speaking after the game Esperance manager Moine Chaabani told beIN SPORTS;
“Wydad’s players wanted to mess up the game, so we had to be calm,”
“But these were managerial things. We have no impact on them, the important thing is we are the champions”.