Caf President Patrice Motsepe has said Al Ahly’s concerns over the venue of the Champions League final were legitimate and fair.
The Egyptian side raised issues over the choice of Mohamed V Stadium to host the final against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca in May, and the South African football administrator has explained why the decision could not be reversed.
"But let me tell you, the concern from Al Ahly that they were being disadvantaged [by playing Wydad in Morocco], is a legitimate and fair concern," Motsepe said, as quoted by Sowetan Live.
"The only problem I had was that I could not be a president that disregards and ignores rules and regulations and decisions that were taken."
However, Motsepe promised to uphold the principles of fairness and equality in his administration.
"I’m more alive now than ever before to ensure that all countries are equal, and clubs are treated equally," he promised.
"I can fully understand the unhappiness [over Morocco hosting the Caf Champions League final] of Al Ahly president [Mahmoud Kathib] and we’ll make sure that we treat everybody equally."
The president also revealed the decision to have the Champions League and Confederation Cup played in a one-leg format in one country will be reversed.
"We’re going to fix that. This will never happen again," he added. "It’s something I inherited and I could not change.
"The decision was taken before me. We’ll have a two-legged final because, again, can you imagine the supporters of Al Ahly in Egypt and, of course, my favourite coach, Pitso [Mosimane], and former Ahly coach?"
He also touched on the allegations that Morocco is favoured in hosting major Caf events.
"Is everything going to Morocco? Let me tell you something: while I’m president of Caf, no country, no club or nation is going to enjoy the preferred status," Motsepe continued.
"Again the issue [of Morocco being favoured] is not what the facts are, the issue is perception. And the reason why we have the Caf Awards in Morocco is that they’re having the women’s [2022 Africa Women's Cup of Nations] in Morocco.
"The women’s competition is in Morocco, and we’re inviting all of the other presidents to come there because it costs us less money because everybody is there.
"We’ll have an excellent Caf Awards and I do want to conclude by saying I’m very sensitive to the perception that we should not be seen to be favouring Morocco or any individual country."