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CAF suspends Champions League referee after poor performance in final

23:03 BST 28/05/2019
Cheick Comara of Wydad Casablanca
Gehad Grisha disallowed a goal and failed to award a penalty to Wydad Casablanca as they drew 1-1 with Esperance de Tunis

African football’s governing body CAF has suspended one of its referees following a poor performance in the first leg of the African Champions League final.

Egyptian official Gehad Grisha has been removed from his duties for six months after a complaint was made about decisions he made when Wydad Casablanca hosted Esperance de Tunis in Morocco last week.

The Moroccan Football Federation raised the issue with the governing body after Grisha disallowed a goal for Wydad and failed to award them a penalty, with both decisions made after consulting with VAR.

Wydad played most of the second half with 10 men after having their captain, Ibrahim Nakash, red carded for two bookings inside five minutes at the Stade Moulay Abdallah in Rabat.

A statement from CAF said: “CAF decided to suspend the Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha for six months due to his poor performance at the first of leg of Champions League final match between Wydad Casablanca and Esperance de Tunis which ended in a 1-1 in Morocco last Friday.

“The Moroccan Football Federation sent a complaint against Grisha yesterday after huge anger and demands of Wydad board and fans from the performance of the Egyptian referee that may cost the Moroccans the CL title as they think.”

The second leg is due to take place on Friday at the Olympic Stadium in Tunis, with the scores level at 1-1 after the controversial first game.

Fousseny Coulibaly gave the visitors the lead in Casablanca shortly before half time, and at that stage the Tunis side looked a good bet to retain their title.

But the hosts hit back late on, despite being down to 10 men, with Cheik Comara scoring in front of the home fans to leave the tie finely balanced ahead of the return leg.

Tunisian champions ES Tunis are the current holders of the Champions League title, and have dominated their domestic league for the last two decades, winning 15 of the last 20 titles.

Wydad last lifted the trophy in 2017 and are aiming to win the Champions League for the third time having also triumphed in 2002.