CAS dismisses Wydad Casablanca's appeal over 2018-19 Caf Champions League final

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Caf Champions League final 2019
The international court gave its final verdict after a long tussle between Esperance and Wydad over last year's Champions League final

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed Wydad Casablanca's appeal over the 2018-19 Caf Champions League final and confirmed Esperance as champions.

In its verdict released on Friday, the court upheld the decision of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Disciplinary Board, who declared Wydad lost the second-leg of the final match after abandoning it in the 59th minute.

After a 1-1 draw in the first-leg in Morocco, Esperance got themselves ahead at home with 1-0 lead before the encounter was abandoned.

Wydad left the pitch in Tunisia just before the hour-mark after Walid El Karti’s equaliser was disallowed and the protest for a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review was turned down because the system was not available.

After a long stand-off with no action, Gambian referee Bakary Gassama brought the game to a close but fans of both clubs started chaos with the firing of flares in the stadium.

On June 5, 2019, the Caf Executive Committee annulled the result of the second leg and ordered for a replay but the move was rejected by CAS a month later after both clubs appealed against it.

In addition to declaring Esperance as champions of last season's Champions League last August, the Caf Disciplinary Board meted out punishment to both clubs.

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Wydad were slapped with a fine of 50,000 USD for the abandonment of the match and a fine of 15,000 USD was imposed for the use of flares by their supporters.

Esperance, on the other hand, were sanctioned 50,000 USD for their supporters’ unsuitable behaviour while the Tunisian club president Mohamed Meddeb received a 20,000 USD fine.

Following their disappointing outing in court, Wydad Casablanca will be aiming for success in this season's Champions League as they host Egyptian Premier League side Al Ahly for their semi-final fixture on October 16 before travelling to Cairo for the reverse game a week later.

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