Moroccan FA to stand by Wydad after VAR controversy in Caf Champions League final

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The nation’s football governing body held an emergency meeting on Saturday after Wydad’s controversial defeat by Esperance after VAR controversy

The Moroccan Football Federation will stand by, and fight for, Wydad Casablanca after their Caf Champions League final defeat by Esperance on Friday night.

Having trailed 1-0 to a Youcef Belaili stunner in the first-half, the Moroccans thought they’d equalised through Walid El Karti in the 58th minute, but his header was ruled out for offside.

Replays showed the player might have been onside, but Gambian referee Bakary Gassama didn’t consult VAR to review the decision, which infuriated Faouzi Benzarti’s side.

It was later revealed that the technology wasn’t operational, which led to the Moroccans refusing to return to the pitch to restart the game.

After an interruption that lasted over an hour, Gassama awarded the game to the Tunisian side who won 2-1 on aggregate (given the first leg ended 1-1).

After winning in 2017, victory for Wydad this year would have been their second triumph in the continent’s premier club competition.

As a result of the win, Esperance became the fourth club to retain the Caf CL, joining Enyimba, Al Ahly and Tout Puissant Mazembe as the sides to win successive titles.

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Following the impromptu meeting between the administrative office of the Moroccan FA and representatives of the club – which included players Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti and Abdelatif Noussir - the resulting resolutions were reached:

- Unconditional support from the federation to Wydad in this case as they prepare for the Caf meeting scheduled for June 4.

- Mailing Fifa about this case backed by all objections and documents and to resort to the Court of Arbitration for Sports if need be.

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