Wydad Casablanca has wasted no time in announcing their intention to challenge, Wednesday’s decision to award the African Champions League to Esperance of Tunisia.
WAC President Said Naciri said they would appeal the verdict of the Confederation of African Football’s Disciplinary Committee, who on Wednesday ruled Esperance winners of the disputed final.
The CAF regulations allow the Moroccans the right to appeal and Naciri said straight away he would lodge papers, although he was not clear on what grounds.
Wydad already submitted two separate arguments to the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) last week when they asked the Swiss-based body to either award them the title outright or order that the two legs of the final be annulled and a single replay be ordered.
CAS rejected both Wydad’s positions last week when it ordered CAF to re-hear the matter.
CAF had originally awarded the game to Esperance after Wydad refused to play on after having a 59th minute strike in the second leg in Tunis ruled offside. The absence of VAR, which was faulty, led to vehement protests and a stubborn refusal by the Moroccans to continue.
After a two-hour delay, Esperance were handed the trophy while Wydad refused to accept their silver medals.
But five days after the final, the CAF Executive Committee made an extraordinary decision to order a replay of the final on neutral territory citing “security concerns”.
It was a decision greeted with much derision as critics accused the exco of pandering to the heavy Moroccan influence with CAF’s power structures.
Both clubs immediately turned to CAS for relief. It annulled the decision of CAF’s Executive Committee, saying it should rather be dealt with by the “competent committee”.
The DC took a week to convene and sat in Cairo on Wednesday, quickly coming to a verdict. It decided:
“The Wydad Athletic Club is considered to have lost the game in the final second leg, a fine of $50,000 is imposed on the club for the abandonment of the match and a fine of $15,000 is imposed for the use of flares by the supporters.
“Mohamed Meddeb, president of Esperance has been fined $20,000 as well as receiving a warning for his unsporting behaviour toward the president of CAF.
“Esperance fined $50,000 USD for the use of smoke and projectiles and the unsporting behavior of their supporters. Esperance will play their next two home interclub matches behind closed doors for the excessive use of smoke and firecrackers. However the Disciplinary Board has decided to suspend the sanction in question provided that the club is not found guilty of a similar offence for the next 12 months.
Siasia In No Rush To Appeal Life Ban
Former Nigeria coach, Samson Siasia is not in a rush to appeal against a decision by FIFA to ban him for life from all football-related activities.
Football’s world governing body handed Siasia, who managed the Super Eagles between 2010-2011 and for a spell in 2016, the ban on Friday for agreeing to “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.”
But the 52-year-old, who has also managed his country at U-20 and U-23 level, has said that he will fight to clear his name.
“I’ve not done anything wrong and will continue to fight to clear my name,” he told Tidesports source.
“Everything is now in the hands of my legal team.”
The ban is expected to be served at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 50,000 (US$50,000) was also imposed on Mr Siasia.
An associate of Siasia, Prince Opukiri Jones-Ere says his legal representatives are studying the FIFA ruling and will issue a statement in a few days.
“The coach was unable to address the press as planned on Saturdday because he’s undergoing a lot of stress,” Jones-Ere said.
“His lawyers are studying the ruling and will make an official statement in a few days.”
A former international, Siasia won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria and played in their maiden World Cup appearance later that same year. He played over 50 times for his country while scoring 16 goals.
As a coach he led his country’s Under-20 and U23s to continental success in 2005 and 2015 respectively. He also guided the U-20s to a runner-up finish at the 2005 World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.
Siasia is the most decorated African football coach at the Olympics, winning silver at the Beijing Games in 2008 and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.
Lawmaker Tasks Youth On Sporting Activities
The lawmaker representing Port Harcourt Constituency III, in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Azeru Opara has called on the youth in his constituency to engage themselves in sporting activities and stop social vices.
Hon. Opara, who is also the sponsor of the tournament noted that sport is one thing that exposes people to limelight in any society.
The lawmaker who was represented by his Special Assistant, Yusuf Momoh made the called at the weekend, during the opening ceremony of Diobu Youth Football Association Tournament, at St. Andrews Primary School, Mile One Diobu, Port Harcourt.
“Stop social vices and involve yourself in sporting activities. There are a lot of benefits in sports” Hon Opara said.
He commended the coordinator of the competition Junior Obianime, for putting the tournament together.
Hon Opara, further pledged to not fail the people of his constituency as they voted for him, saying that this is part of his electioneering campaign promises.
Also speaking the coordinator of the competition Junior Obianime stated that the competition is about bringing the youth of the area together through football tournaments, adding that sports, mostly football is one event that brings peace among the youth.
According to him, 16 teams registered for the tournament, as winner of the tournament will go home with the sum of N200, 000, while second and third place will walk away with N100,000 and N50,000 respectively.
Obiani used the medium to thank the sponsor of the competition Hon. Opara, for keeping to his electioneering campaign promises.
The opening match was between Mile one market FC and St. Thomas FC which ended 3-1 in favour of St. Thomas in a spot kick after regulation time.
CAF CL: Asante Kotoko Fires Warning At Kano Pillars
Asante Kotoko of Ghana’s Captain Felix Annan said his side are confident of beating Kano Pillars in the return leg of the 2019/2020 CAF champions league first preliminary stage round.
Both side will meet for the second clash this Friday in Ghana, after the first meeting ended 2-3 in favor of the Sai Masu Gida
However, speaking ahead of the decider which will hold in Kumasi, Annan said they now understand how Kano Pillars are set up to play and believed that they are capable of completing the job in front of their home fans.
“It is always difficult playing away from home in the champions league but to score 2 goals is a plus and it gives us much confidence going into the second leg in Kumasi.”
“We are very confident because of our play and knowing how they (Kano pillars) play now. So with our fans, we believe we will surely beat them. We now know their strength and weakness so we will work on that.” Annan said.
Kano Pillars must avoid defeat in Kumasi if they are to go through to the next round of the elite competition
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