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CAF Champions League

Esperance coach Mouine Chaabani describes officiating in defeat to Al-Ahly as injustice

16:16 GMT+4 03/11/2018
Esperance Sportive de Tunis player Franck Kom (R) and Al Ahly SC player Walid Said Ebeid, August 2018
The Esperance duo of defender Chamseddine Dhaouadi and Cameroonian midfielder Franck Kom will miss next week’s final, second leg due to suspension

Esperance coach Mouine Chaabani has branded as “unjust” the way Algerian referee Mehdi Abid Charef handled Friday’s Caf Champions League final, first leg match at the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria.

Charef had an eventful evening, awarding three penalties including twice consulting the VAR before pointing to the spot. He issued out four yellow cards including booking Dhaouadi and Kom who will now miss the return leg in Rades next Friday.

“No one can prove that Franck Tom and Chamseddine Dhaouadi really deserved yellow cards," Chaabani was quoted as saying by Tunisia24.

“It’s huge injustice. Both players will be absent during the return match and I think that is unfair.”

Esperance will have to be at their epic best next Friday and win by a two-goal margin to be crowned African champions for the third time in their history.

History works against them in their previous home confrontations against Al-Ahly who beat them 1-0 at the Stade Olympique de Rades when they met in a Group A affair two months ago.

The Tunisians were also beaten 2-1 on home turf when Al-Ahly won the Caf Champions League title in 2012.

Last season Al-Ahly eliminated Esperance from the Champions League with a 2-1 quarter-final win away in Tunisia.