Champions League will take place in Morocco on Monday, CAF tells Pitso’s Al Ahly

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Ahly and their coach Pitso Mosimane argued that the decision to have the final played in Morocco would go against the principles of fair play. Photo: Getty Images
Ahly and their coach Pitso Mosimane argued that the decision to have the final played in Morocco would go against the principles of fair play. Photo: Getty Images

SPORT


Al Ahly’s attempt to force CAF to postpone the Champions League hit a snag after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday rejected the Egyptian superclub’s application to postpone the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League final.

The decider between Al Ahly and Wydad Athletic has been pencilled in to take place at the Mohammed V Athletic Complex in Casablanca on Monday night.

The 45 000-seater was officially confirmed as the neutral venue a fortnight ago following a bidding process.

However, Al Ahly and their coach Pitso Mosimane argued that the decision to have the final played in Morocco would go against the principles of fair play, as the move would give Wydad an advantage.

The majestic arena is home to Morocco powerhouses Wydad and Raja Casablanca, as well as the Moroccan national soccer team.

READ: The 12th Man | What exactly does CAF owe Morocco?

In their court filing, Al Ahly argued that the final should not be hosted by any of the countries that had reached the Champions League semifinals, and a neutral venue would provide equal chances for the four teams.

Wydad and Al Ahly overcame Petro de Luanda of Angola and Algerian side ES Sétif in the semifinals.

But, when news started filtering through that Morocco would host the final, Al Ahly stressed in their letter to the CAS that the game should be held at a neutral venue.

The argument by the Egyptian club was that CAF did not choose the host country at an earlier stage, stating that “giving one of the four teams the home advantage in the final contradicts the fair play standards”.

However, the CAS favoured CAF in its ruling.

CAF said:

CAF was obliged to implement the executive committee’s decision that was taken in July 2019, which stated that the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League winner would be determined by a one-legged final.

The continental football governing body further reiterated that the final was awarded to Morocco because the north African country was the only other country that had fulfilled the hosting requirements after Senegal withdrew its bid.

South Africa and Nigeria were the other countries that did not meet the hosting requirements, according to a previous CAF statement, but the organisation did not elaborate.

In its latest circular, CAF maintained that it was “committed to the principles of fairness, justice and equality of all clubs and member associations, and would at all times treat them fairly and equally”.

It further wished Al Ahly and Wydad well, while confirming the details for Monday’s match, which is scheduled to kick off at 9pm local time.

It is the second year running that the same venue in Morocco is staging a Champions League final.

Al Ahly beat Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 in last year’s decider in July.

READ: CAF contemplates scrapping one-leg Champions League final format after backlash

The idea of a neutral venue seemed to be problematic, and CAF recently said discussions were under way in the organisation to revert to its tried and tested two-legged home and away format in the final, instead of a single-round final.


facebook
twitter
linkedin
instagram

Daniel Mothowagae 

Deputy sports editor

+27 11 713 9001
Daniel.Mothowagae@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of City Press here.
Read now
Voting Booth
Consumers are paying exorbitant rates for power because of extra fee charges that are added when buying prepaid electricity. This is on top of an already high electricity tariff rate. Some of these fees are not even regulated. Should government regulate electricity fees?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
25% - 29 votes
No
5% - 6 votes
Scrap fees
70% - 81 votes
Vote